Thursday, May 15, 2014

Those Paperweights with Snow Inside

Patriotic (M.A. Reilly, 2013)
Years ago, Molly Peacock was my teacher. First at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan and later privately.  I always found this poem to be especially moving.

Those Paperweights with Snow Inside

—Molly Peacock
Dad pushed my mother down the cellar stairs.
Gram had me name each plant in her garden.
My father got drunk.  Ma went to country fairs.
The pet chameleon we had was warden
of the living room curtains where us kids
stood waiting for their headlights to turn in.
My mother took me to the library where ids
entered the Land of Faery or slipped in
the houses of the rich.  A teacher told me
to brush my teeth.  My sister ran away.
My father broke the kitchen table in half.
My mother went to work.  Not to carry
all this in the body’s frame is not to see
how the heart and arms were formed on its behalf.
I can’t put the burden down.  It’s what formed
the house I became as the glass ball stormed.

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