Donald Justice

(12 August 1925 - 6 August 2004 / Miami / Florida)

Absences - Poem by Donald Justice

It's snowing this afternoon and there are no flowers.
There is only this sound of falling, quiet and remote,
Like the memory of scales descending the white keys
Of a childhood piano- outside the window, palms!
And the heavy head of the cereus, inclining,
Soon to let down its white or yellow-white.

Now, only these poor snow-flowers in a heap,
Like the memory of a white dress cast down...
So much has fallen.
And I, who have listened for a step
All afternoon, hear it now, but already falling away,
Already in memory. And the terrible scales descending
On the silent piano; the snow; and the absent flowers abounding.


Comments about Absences by Donald Justice

  • Rookie Yoy Frtyhh (12/13/2009 7:49:00 PM)

    i really think this poem has so much meaning. im reading it in school and i absolutly love it. this is what i got from it... this man is looking outside and he sees snow, he starts to remember everything he has forgotten, his childhood expecially. i get that he talks about having a fiance (like the memory of a white dress cast down) that has died just like everything else, and like melting snow, everything that seems wonderful eventually fades away and is only a lost memory. i dont know if i got the meanig right, but either way, i love the poem! (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: memory, childhood, snow, flower



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Saturday, November 22, 2014


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