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.
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.