A Visitor

My father, for example,

who was young once

and blue-eyed,


on the darkest of nights

to the porch and knocks

wildly at the door,

and if I answer

I must be prepared

for his waxy face,

for his lower lip

swollen with bitterness.

And so, for a long time,

I did not answer,

but slept fitfully

between his hours of rapping.

But finally there came the night

when I rose out of my sheets

and stumbled down the hall.

The door fell open

and I knew I was saved

and could bear him,

pathetic and hollow,

with even the least of his dreams

frozen inside him,

and the meanness gone.

And I greeted him and asked him

into the house,

and lit the lamp,

and looked into his blank eyes

in which at last

I saw what a child must love,

I saw what love might have done

had we loved in time.

Mary Oliver

... ek het gesien wat liefde kon gedoen het as ons betyds liefgehad het ...

Vergifnis is 'n moeilike ding. Ek wou eers skryf tricky - dis 'n tricky ding want dis kompleks, delikaat, sensitief, vernederend, maar ek het toe nie tricky geskryf nie, want dis alles behalwe skelm, glibberig, berekenend en al die ander goed wat ons met tricks assosieer. Dis nie 'n trick nie, dis 'n wonderwerk. Een waartoe ons geroep word.

Caroline Myss skryf: