Louis McKee


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Louis McKee (born July 31, 1951, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, died November 21, 2011) has been a fixture of the Philadelphia poetry scene since the early 70s. He is the author of Schuylkill County (Wampeter, 1982), The True Speed of Things (Slash and Burn, 1984), and fourteen other collections. More recently, he has published River Architecture: Poems from Here & There 1973-1993 (Cynic, 1999), ... more »

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Best Poem of Louis McKee

The Blackthorn

The blackthorn was his father's,
a piece of Ireland
that the old man could still get his hands around
even as his hands grew weak,
refused to hold. My father
never knew Ireland;
when he gripped the walking stick
it was something else he was holding on to.
I watched my father
get old; he would stare at his hand
and open and close his fist,
try to fight the arthritis.
By then he had lost the stick,
and he could have used it
to work his grip, to beat
at the hard knot that was tying him up.
When he died he was laid in the ground
only a few feet ...

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