THE VIEW AT GUNDERSON'S - Joseph Warren Beach Poems


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Sitting in his rocker waiting for your tea,
Gazing from his window, this is what you see:

A cat that snaps at flies; a track leading down
By log-built shanties gray and brown;

The corner of a barn, and tangled lines of fence
Of rough-hewn pickets standing dense;

The ghost of a tree on a dull, wet day;
And the blanket fog where lies the bay.

But when he's seen the last of you,
Sitting in his rocker, what's his view?

(For there he sits, day in day out,
Nursing his leg -- and his dreams, no doubt.)

The snow-slide up behind the gaard;
The farm beside old Trondjem fjord;

Daughters seven with their cold blue eyes,
And the great pine where his father lies;

The boat that brought him over the sea;
And the toothless woman who makes his tea.

(Their picture, framed on the rough log wall,
Proves she had teeth when he was tall.)

He sees the balsam thick on the hill,
And all he's cleared with a stubborn will.

And last he sees the full-grown son
For whom he hoards what he has won.

You saw little worth the strife:
What he sees is one man's life.