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The silver from my mother's mirror
gleams its stories
toward a light which drops and never breaks.
It says to tell the truth and

permanently shining, brings forth
an original day bright as this one
where children and other small creatures
played without threat

but the child's story is never without fear—is it—
and seems to be made of remainders which either
want for love or some relief from it.

In the third grade the pyramids were presented to us
by Miss O'Malley
so kind that she would—
in honor of learning—
give us the key to Egypt
if she could.
Who would like to bring dates for all to taste?
Who can do this on the lunch hour? she asked.
Naturally I
—who could not imagine how—
said I would—
and, like a child with enough money to spend, ran
home with only one hour, one hour to ease
my dear mother who probably had
little money in the house, yet who bravely asked
“Shouldn't you buy two packages for the class”
I said No.
Love and fear divided in my mind between
an ocean of children
and my mother's troubled face,
“One package is all I need” I lied,
“Someone else will bring the rest”
(Children spend so much time persuading—
no wonder no one believes them).
Eight dates for twenty children
which would taste so sweet—
Miss O'Malley, always kind, cut the tiny squares
and I kept interrupting, hoping they
wouldn't notice. After all
there wasn't water in the land of pyramids . . . was
there . . . and
not too many trees,
probably hungry people and small rations there as well.

That day every one of us was a reflection of the other—
the children who ate their portions,
the mother at home worrying about her daughter's gift,
the child thinking about her mother's face,
and Miss O'Malley who, kind and earnest,
taught us all about a hardy people in an arid land
who gave what they had and could give nothing more. 

Грэйс Кавальери | Просмотров: 301 | Дата: 2009-08-25 | Комментарии (0)

The first time I saw my American poems translated
I just stopped and studied
the hieroglyphics on the page,
tiny scribbles of black ink
saying twice
what was said before.
Then I knew
I would not leave this world
without loving some of it . . .
nothing reduced to a single truth . . .
all of one blood,
our words, music and lives coming together.
It was not that the stars had fallen down—
It was more that we didn't need
the lamp which had gone out.
How separate we are in the dark
after the poem is gone.
Грэйс Кавальери | Просмотров: 356 | Дата: 2009-08-25 | Комментарии (0)


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