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Visiting Richard

When Richard, just
one year ago a poet
and scholar, lifts his eyes
from his comic book

to look at you, you can’t
see inside him. He is all
outside now, wearing
spectacles someone else

tucked behind his ears
to balance on his nose,
and a shirt whose one
unfastened button

somebody else forgot.
Yet see as he bends
his head how tenderly
his thumb and forefinger

take the corner of each
page, turning it over
to the fingers that smooth it
under his absent eyes.

See how Richard’s hands
remember what he loved.

-Donald Hall