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“The Visitor” A Poem By Jonathan Rowe ’18

The Visitor

My father said you were a visitor

who would be staying in the guest house

for an indefinite number of days.

I only learned after the fact that

you lived with us while smoke billowed

above Alexandria, Durban & Cape Town,

as the displaced packed in church halls & tent

camps, between bundles of belongings salvaged

to start over somewhere else, at some opportune time.


I never met you before you moved on.

All that remained was a name                         Patrice

suspended in the guest house, in our home,

The absent presence of a body, of a memory;

a name I hold onto even now as a reflection

of myself, a nomad, sense of home undefined;

as an embodiment of the outsider––unnamed,

unrecognized, home being the things carried & themselves.

Who, like a name itself, endures.



Jonathan Rowe ’18

Posted by on January 28, 2017. Filed under The Week's End. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.