Meeting with My Father in the Orchard

Homero Aridjis

Translated by George McWhirtier
Past noon. Past the cinema
with the tall sorrowful walls
on the point of coming down, I enter the orchard.
Show over, all of them have gone:
day laborers, dogs and doors.
My father is standing in front of a fig tree.
My mother has died. The children, grown old.
He's alone, small threads of air
weave in and out of his tattered clothes.
For fear of getting too close and startling him
with my living presence, I want to go straight by,
the strange one now with white hair whom he asks,
"Who's that there?"
"Father, it's me, your son."
"Does your mother know you're back. Will you stay and eat?"
"Father, for years now your wife has lain at rest
by your side in the town graveyard."
Then, as if he has divined everything,
he calls me by my childhood name
and gives me a fig.
So we met up, the living and the dead.
Then, each went on his way.
From Solar Poems by Homero Aridjis. Copyright © 2010 by by Homero Aridjis. Used by permission of City Lights Publishers.

Poems by This Author

El Poema / The Poem by Homero Aridjis
El poema gira sobre la cabeza de un hombre / The poem spins over the head of a man

Further Reading

Poems About Fathers
'The child is father to the man.'
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
The Last 4 Things [That hard thread]
by Kate Greenstreet
A Boy and His Dad
by Edgar Guest
A Situation for Mrs. Biswas
by Prageeta Sharma
A Story
by Philip Levine
A Story
by Li-Young Lee
American Primitive
by William Jay Smith
Another Country
by Ryan Teitman
Auld Lang Syne
by Jennifer L. Knox
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Confessions: My Father, Hummingbirds, and Frantz Fanon
by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
by Sylvia Plath
Descriptions of Heaven and Hell
by Mark Jarman
Do not go gentle into that good night
by Dylan Thomas
by Edgar Guest
Father Outside
by Nick Flynn
Father's Day Cards
from The Princess [Sweet and low, sweet and low]
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
Grief Calls Us to the Things of This World
by Sherman Alexie
Her Father
by Thomas Hardy
How to Be a Lawyer
by Jordan Davis
Inventing Father In Las Vegas
by Lynn Emanuel
Lay Back the Darkness
by Edward Hirsch
Like Him
by Aaron Smith
Man of the Year
by Robin Becker
My Father
by Scott Hightower
my father moved through dooms of love
by E. E. Cummings
My Father on His Shield
by Walt McDonald
My Father Remembers Blue Zebras
by Judy Halebsky
My Father's Hat
by Mark Irwin
My Father's Leaving
by Ira Sadoff
My Papa's Waltz
by Theodore Roethke
Only a Dad
by Edgar Guest
by William Meredith
by Carl Phillips
Poems about Fathers
Renewal [Excerpt]
by Chris Abani
Separation is the necessary condition for light.
by Brian Teare
Shaving Your Father's Face
by Michael Dickman
Tended Strength: Gifts of Poetry for Fathers
The Ferryer
by Sharon Olds
The Idea of Ancestry
by Etheridge Knight
The Idiot
by Charles Reznikoff
The Portrait
by Stanley Kunitz
The Trouble Ball [excerpt]
by Martín Espada
Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden
To Her Father with Some Verses
by Anne Bradstreet
by Diane Seuss
Whose Mouth Do I Speak With
by Suzanne Rancourt
With Kit, Age 7, at the Beach
by William Stafford
Working Late
by Louis Simpson
by W. S. Merwin