October 17, 2005

Off topic: something better than a pop song

Relinquishment

On a black night in early March,
the fire hot, my daughter says
Wrap me in something. I get the old
grey quilt, gleaming like a sloughed
insect casing, and wrap it around and
around her narrow nine-year old body,
hollow and flexible. Cover my face,
she hisses in excitement. I cover her face
and fall back from the narrow, silver
shape on the carpet.

How finally
she is getting away – an Egyptian child
bound in gauze, set in a boat
on a black night in early March
and pushed out on the water, given
over to the gods of the next world
who will find her
or not find her.

- Sharon Olds, The Dead And The Living, 1984
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A favorite poem from many years past. I used to read this over and over. Thank you for your kind note, Anne. I will see you soon!

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