Sunday, April 24, 2005

moldy oldie

Just for fun... if I had to haul out one of my poems to represent me, this would probably be the one. (Is that kind of like a parent admitting they like one of their children best?) It also got me the nicest acceptance letter I've ever gotten, so I'd probably have a soft spot for it for that reason alone.


Let X Equal . . .

Let the woman wake
from sleep, as she does each morning
of her life. Let her arm
reach out, drowsy, and brush
the bedroom curtains aside,
let her watch for five whole minutes
the cat washing herself
on the front lawn, the bird
pecking madly at damp earth,
the neighbor clutching the front of her robe
as she steps out the door
and stoops for her morning paper.

Let the sunlight be quiet
and warm across the lawn. Let the grass
be succulent and green.
Let the day unfold like a perfect
equation, every moment growing
toward some simple answer,
some singular integer.
Let the woman stand for the thesis,
the given, all the formulas that build
a body of knowledge. Let her waking
be the question, and the window
equal some visible understanding, the work
she is asked to show. Let the neighbor
and the curtains be variables, the light
and the lawn be the sum
of each other, the pure reciprocity of morning.
Let the woman's hand, opening
curtains, and the woman, rising,
be a new theorem, solid and given,
the beginning of an elegant
and irrefutable proof.

-A.H. 1990
published in Northwest Review, 1992
and in Celebrating Seventy, compiled by Jenny Kander (Lexington, KY: Wind, 2003)

8 comments:

A. D. said...

Oh to be proof of something. I dig it Anne. Thanks for sharing.

Anne said...

Thanks, A.D. Too bad the real world's never quite that clear and provable, huh?

jenni said...

i remember this one--it was amongst my favorites that i read at the spoon. and i loved your post on the whales, very inspired. i'll definately be in Btown the first week of June unless for some reason they don't give me Yusef K's workshop (got my acceptance letter today). if they stick me in another against my will, i'll bow out as gracefully as possible. but i'll probably still be there that week, so let's plan on going to the readings, as many as you can attend!

Anne said...

Thanks Jenni - I'll see you in June! :) I always enjoy going to the readings, even when I'm not doing the conference. I will be curious to hear about Yusef's workshop.

Christine said...

This is great! I love the description of the morning outside the window.

Christine said...

This is great! I love the description of the morning outside the window.

Christine said...

This is great! I love the description of the morning outside the window.

Anne said...

Thanks, Christine -- it's an oldie, but I'm fond of it. :)