Portrait of the Artist's Father
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Portrait of the Artist’s Father

Here is your father, looking out at us
From this dark room where shadows furl and fold,
Patiently present to whoever comes,
Still on his battered sofa, at his ease.
He looks out from the darkness of the world,
The copper blotch and mottle of old time
Whose tarnishes and patina reveal
Strange beauty in the saints we love and leave,
Whose leaving leaves us burnished as we grieve.
He meets us here, at home in his own skin,
Which holds more colours than the eye can trace,
More substance, more humanity and grace
Than paint on wood can possibly contain,
All in the clarity of his kind face.