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The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Wednesday and Annmarie Garden Art


Translations
By Adrienne Rich

You show me the poems of some woman
my age, or younger
translated from your language

Certain words occur: enemy, oven, sorrow
enough to let me know
she’s a woman of my time

obsessed

with Love, our subject:
we’ve trained it like ivy to our walls
baked it like bread in our ovens
worn it like lead on our ankles
watched it through binoculars as if
it were a helicopter
bringing food to our famine
or the satellite
of a hostile power

I begin to see that woman
doing things: stirring rice
ironing a skirt
typing a manuscript till dawn

trying to make a call
from a phonebook

the phone rings unanswered
in a man’s bedroom
she hears him telling someone else
never mind. she’ll get tired
hears him telling her story to her sister

who becomes her enemy
and will in her own time
light her own way to sorrow

ignorant of the fact this way of grief
is shared, unnecessary
and political

--------

My brain is still clanging from hours of fire alarm vacuum cleaner screaming heater noise -- I took decibel readings with an app on my phone and it was over 90 on the couch, over 80 upstairs -- so I spent most of the day down the basement sorting and packing up books, which required asking myself difficult questions like "Am I ever going to reread all nine of these biographies of Amelia Earhart?" and "Do people in academia still read Toril Moi or are we now allowed to talk about feminist goals without having to use the words 'epistemological' and 'reification'?" (All of the books by Lacan, Derrida, Adorno, et al have already been donated because hell no I am not opening those ever again.)

We took a walk in the late afternoon, ate leftover Indian food from Bombay Bistro for dinner, and turned off the dehumidifier and heater at 7 p.m. because our neighbors told us they kept them up the night before (through a brick wall) and they have two children under six who need to sleep. So I was able to watch Voyager's pretty terrible Ferengi episode "False Profits" with my Tuesday night group, which was nice and relaxing though my ears were still ringing. Then we watched the BLM episode of Supergirl and the dead cat episode of Sex Education, which was so gratuitously vile that I nearly stopped watching the entire show. Here is some of the art in the woods at Annmarie Gardens:

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