Living Here Now

By Eloise Klein Healy b. 1943 Eloise Klein Healy
My father’s dying
resembles nothing so much
as a small village
building itself
in the mind of a traveler
who reads about it
and thinks to go there.

The journey is imagined
in a way not even felt
as when years ago
I knew my father would die someday.

The idea came up as fast
as a curve in a road
which opens out
to an unexpected vista,

and now in this journey
the road gravel crunches
under my tires. I miss
some of the streets,
get lost, get lost.

I find I’m no tourist anymore
and settle into the oldest human assignment.
Bury your father and live forever
as a stranger in that town.

Eloise Klein Healy, “Living Here Now” from Passing. Copyright © 2002 by Eloise Klein Healy. Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.

Source: Passing (Red Hen Press, 2002)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Eloise Klein Healy b. 1943


Subjects Living, Death, Relationships, Family & Ancestors


Born in El Paso, Texas, Eloise Klein Healy grew up in rural Iowa. Healy's crisp, image- and narrative-driven poems often explore community, sexuality, and the nature of home. On the radio program Writers on Writing, Healy discussed her work’s attention to “the influence of place on people.” Addressing the role of the open-air California landscape and the details of daily life that often ground her poems, Healy noted, “The way . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Relationships, Family & Ancestors


Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.