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My Grandfather Kept Peacocks
John Peale Bishop
When other reasons for pride were gone, Winters he sat by the green-primed woodbox, And pine-knots flared upon a meditation Of wild blue eyes, his gray beard stalked On the thin despair of a dwindling hand. Frost had been kind; windows gave back A glazed white stare of kindly eyes but blind. Carpets were windy stripes upon the floor. The kitchen planks were wide and scoured with sand. He could not see, unless he undertook the door, Those arrogant birds whom the wind balked In their poor progress through the snow. He did not touch the knob; he did not dare Because of a looking-glass beside the door. He would not risk the smallest crack Of snow, lest Death should see him there Looking from out a glass beside the door.