Monday, August 27, 2007

Three Poems About Divorce

Mapping the Interior
The flat outline of ourselves
in biology texts:
male, female, we study carefully
the lines of difference,
our irrigation system in red and blue,
a front and center cut
of the faithful pumping station,
bordered duchies of the brain
labeled with industries of control.
There is more:
places of play in old neighborhoods
leading to names of first loves
embroidered into the evening
chatter of robins,
firefly sparks,
the cloth of being.
Intimately we learn storm paths,
how to graph loss,
read the legends of hope.
We have secret routes:
explored sporadically,
not open for survey,
and closed like all others
by time.

Boiling the Bones
Early month extravagances are:
a movie, grocery checkout magazines,
lottery ticket, fast food meal.
Freeze the bones
of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
On Saturday take a bus to the Goodwill,
find nice gabardine suit,
wool sweater acceptable
to thirteen-year-old who says
she knows they're poor
because they've never
had cable, a car or more than
one telephone.

"The lights," her mother adds
"haven't been turned off and
neither the heat.
We have our own bath,
freedom of being left alone,
bus fare and ability to walk."
Toward the end of the month
she cracks those frozen bones
into boiling water,
adds one-fourth cup
leaching vinegar,
later vegetables,
kneads up a loaf of bread.

Fear walks on my right,
anger on my left.
I've been embarrassed,
ashamed of these companions.
Older now, I know
they frequent a worldwide sisterhood.
I've learned not to hide but
embrace my familiars.

1 comment:

hlmontgomery said...

The sadness of divorce, the freedom that follows, the pride of self-sufficiency, and a chicken recipe: what more could you ask of good poetry? Beautifully done!