For My Daughter Poem by Weldon Kees

For My Daughter

Rating: 2.5

Looking into my daughter’s eyes I read
Beneath the innocence of morning flesh
Concealed, hintings of death she does not heed.
Coldest of winds have blown this hair, and mesh
Of seaweed snarled these miniatures of hands;
The night’s slow poison, tolerant and bland,
Has moved her blood. Parched years that I have seen
That may be hers appear: foul, lingering
Death in certain war, the slim legs green.
Or, fed on hate, she relishes the sting
Of others’ agony; perhaps the cruel
Bride of a syphilitic or a fool.
These speculations sour in the sun.
I have no daughter. I desire none.

Edward Kofi Louis 09 April 2017

Hinting of death she does not heed! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

2 1 Reply
Bernard F. Asuncion 09 April 2017

Coldest of winds...... thanks for posting....

2 1 Reply
Lantz Pierre 10 April 2017

The true terrifying breakthrough of this poem is that last line. It starts with a statement of looking into his daughter eyes and ends with a statement that no such daughter exists. In between is a litany of the horrors, the worst things that a father could foresee for loved and innocent child. In the end there is no daughter either because he has convinced himself of the immorality of bringing a life into a world where such suffering would lay in wait for the unexpecting girl, or his daughter is a corpse and her immoral choices in life have caused him to disavow her. Either way, the difficulty of understanding the final line is the same difficulty proposed by trying to reconcile the evils and immoralities in the body of the poem projected by a father upon his daughter. It is just unthinkable. Brilliantly executed.

2 0 Reply
Bri Edwards 09 April 2017

Cryptic! ? ....................

1 0 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 09 April 2017

The night's slow poison, tolerant and brand. Thanks for sharing it here.

2 1 Reply
Tom Allport 09 April 2017

an interesting poem of disownment? ........well penned.

2 1 Reply
Rajnish Manga 09 April 2017

The poem creates a very poignant atmosphere. But, the line of the poem is not easy to comprehend- 'I have no daughter. I desire none'. Daughters are treated like stars or divine gifts in most of the families. Thanks for sharing.

2 1 Reply
Weldon Kees

Weldon Kees

Nebraska / United States
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