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Friday, June 24, 2011

Wanting a Child

(The Mother by Elizabeth Nourse, 1859-1938,
American landscape and portrait painter)

Over time, the unfulfilled wish for a child can change a woman as the ceaseless flow of a river changes the landscape.


How hard it is for the river here to re-enter
the sea, though it’s most beautiful, of course, in the waste
of time where it’s almost
turned back. Then
it’s yoked,
trussed . . . . The river
has been everywhere, imagine, dividing, discerning,
cutting deep into the parent rock,
scouring and scouring
its own bed.
Nothing is whole
where it has been. Nothing
remains unsaid.
Sometimes I’ll come this far from home
merely to dip my fingers in this glittering , archaic
sea that renders everything
identical, flesh
where mind and body
blur. The seagulls squeak, ill-fitting
hinges, the beach is thick
with shells. The tide
is always pulsing upward, inland, into the river’s rapid
argument, pushing
with its insistent tragic waves — the living echo,
says my book, of some great storm far out at sea, too far
to be recalled by us
but transferred
whole onto this shore by waves, so that erosion
is its very face.

~ Jorie Graham, born 1950, American poet

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very beautiful poem and the art work is wonderful..
I see a book club involving those books.