The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday

By Eavan Boland

I have been wondering
what I have to leave behind, to give my daughters.

No good offering the view
between here and Three Rock Mountain,
the blueness in the hours before rain, the long haze afterwards.
The ground I stood on was never really mine. It might not ever be theirs.

And gifts that were passed through generations—
silver and the fluid light left after silk—were never given here.

This is an island of waters, inland distances,
with a history of want and women who struggled
to make the nothing which was all they had
into something they could leave behind.

I learned so little from them: the lace bobbin with its braided mesh,
its oat-straw pillow and the wheat-colored shawl
knitted in one season
to imitate another

are all crafts I never had
and can never hand on. But then again there was a night
I stayed awake, alert and afraid, with my first child
who turned and turned; sick, fretful.

When dawn came I held my hand over the absence of fever,
over skin which had stopped burning, as if I knew the secrets
of health and air, as if I understood them

and listened to the silence
and thought, I must have learned that somewhere.


Most of Tuesday was a catch-up/chore day for me, except for lunch with vertigo66 whom I had not seen in ages! We met at the Corner Bakery and I went early so I could walk around the lake and see if there were goslings, but I only saw one lone baby with the older geese -- I think they must have spoiled the eggs but missed this one, because there have been years where there were more than 30 babies. I took home as much salad as I ate, and I stopped at Target to get this penguin towel for younger son and this shark towel for older son, among other travel necessities.


I folded yesterday's laundry and watched this week's The Tudors On Demand; I wonder whether I will want to watch next season, because it's impossible to root for Henry or even feel sorry for him at this point except as an exemplar of the axiom that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and I'm not even sure who I really like at this point (Jane is too sweet and innocent and bendable to everyone else's will to take seriously, and we all know how long she lasts after providing the much-demanded son, anyway). Plus no matter how much I dislike Henry, I am incapable of rooting for Thomas Boleyn to be Lord Protector of England.

Much of my late afternoon and evening was taken up with moving books among the new bookcase in the basement and various others; most of the poetry is now upstairs, all of the photography magazines are downstairs on shelves, the new fiction is shelved with the old fiction although not remotely alphabetized as yet. This will be a many day project. I was sorry to see that Robert Rauschenberg has died; he was a monumental talent. And I feel awful for the people trapped in the natural disasters in Asia -- the images from that high school in China are unbearable.

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