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Niels Hav – II

Visit from My Father 





My dead Father comes to visit

and sits down in his chair again, the one I got.

“Well, Niels!” he says.

He is brown and strong, his hair shines like black


Once he moved other people’s gravestones around

using a steel rod and a wheelbarrow, I helped him.

Now he’s moved his own

by himself. “How’s it going”? he says.

I tell him all of it,

my plans, all the unsuccessful attempts.

On my bulletin board hang seventeen bills.

“Throw them away”,

he says, they’ll come back again”!

He laughs.

“For many years I was hard on myself”,

he says, “I lie awake mulling

to become a decent person.

That’s important”!


I offer him a cigarette,

but he has stopped smoking now.

Outside the sun sets fire to the roofs and chimneys,

the garbagemen make noise and yell to each other

on the street. My father gets up,

goes to the window and looks down at them.

“They are busy”, he says, “that’s good.

Do something!”