The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday, Great Falls, Moonlight, Shelter

What Kind of Times Are These
By Adrienne Rich

There's a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted
who disappeared into those shadows.

I've walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don't be fooled
this isn't a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here,
our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,
its own ways of making people disappear.

I won't tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods
meeting the unmarked strip of light—
ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.

And I won't tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it's necessary
to talk about trees.


This weekend is the last of Adam's winter break, and he couldn't come home last night, so although I was very torn for a variety of reasons -- I'm claustrophobic enough to desperately want to avoid the Metro on crowded days, which would have meant staying with a friend overnight in DC last night and possibly tonight -- I ended up not marching, though I know people in four cities who did and my mom and her friends went with a synagogue group. Instead I went to pick up Adam, then we came home for lunch and went to Great Falls, which was damp but not as rainy as it had been earlier in the day.

The rest of my day was mostly about movies. Maddy went to work at Arclight early to work on some of her homework with friends. We went to see Moonlight, which was intense, phenomenally acted, disturbing in parts, but ultimately hopeful -- really well done. Then we came home, had Indian food, and watched Shelter, which was also intense, phenomenally acted, very upsetting, and much less optimistic. They are both scathing condemnations of how poverty and lack of health care affects people, though I thought both movies were more judgmental of women who do drugs than men who sell them.

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