The fifth house from the corner in this row-
Black tents against the night sky's indigo.
Beside the door I struck a match to find
The number right, and blankness took my mind.
I hesitated, peering from the gloom
Under the shade, into the lighted room,
Curious justly, in my errand's name;
But then I blamed myself, though I was not to blame.
A woman sat beside a table spread
For one, though supper-time was past; her head
Bent low for listening; between her thighs
A sleepy child was gouging fists in eyes.
The woman turned. I saw her worn young face,
Bewildered, gazing toward that empty place.
I gulped and knocked. God knows the words I said.
I had to tell her, somehow, he was dead.