The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday, Homestead Farm and Riley's Lock

May 1968
By Sharon Olds

When the Dean said we could not cross campus
until the students gave up the buildings,
we lay down, in the street,
we said the cops will enter this gate
over us. Lying back on the cobbles,
I saw the buildings of New York City
from dirt level, they soared up
and stopped, chopped off--above them, the sky,
the night air over the island.
The mounted police moved, near us,
while we sang, and then I began to count,
12, 13, 14, 15,
I counted again, 15, 16, one
month since the day on that deserted beach,
17, 18, my mouth fell open,
my hair on the street,
if my period did not come tonight
I was pregnant. I could see the sole of a cop's
shoe, the gelding's belly, its genitals--
if they took me to Women's Detention and did
the exam on me, the speculum,
the fingers--I gazed into the horse's tail
like a comet-train. All week, I had
thought about getting arrested, half-longed
to give myself away. On the tar--
one brain in my head, another,
in the making, near the base of my tail--
I looked at the steel arc of the horse's
shoe, the curve of its belly, the cop's
nightstick, the buildings streaming up
away from the earth. I knew I should get up
and leave, but I lay there looking at the space
above us, until it turned deep blue and then
ashy, colorless, Give me this one
night, I thought, and I'll give this child
the rest of my life, the horse's heads,
this time, drooping, dipping, until
they slept in a circle around my body and my daughter


Our car is back in its spot in front of the house, but although we've had lines painted for the spots in our parking lot, they haven't painted the reserved space numbers and they didn't bother to blow the leaves first so there are weird leaf-shaped spaces in the lines. This wouldn't bother me much except that I bet they make us move our cars all over again so they can finish and fix it.

Oh well, the weather remained gorgeous, though much cooler, so after lunch we went on a drive to Poolesville to see leaves. We also went to Homestead Farm to get a pumpkin and to see the animals, which would have been a delight except the thumb grip fell off the back of my camera and we couldn't find it after half an hour of looking. I think I have to ship the whole camera back to Nikon for this one little part.

Anyway, we went to Riley's Lock to walk along the canal, where we saw changing leaves, plus ducks and herons. We stopped at a food store, moved the cars back to their usual spots, had pasta for dinner and watched Doctor Who, which was fun but very silly (baaad history) as well as The Last Kingdom (which was less silly but less fun). Soon, though, we get the BBC Rocky Horror reunion!


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