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sisters & sparrows

Poetry. Photography. Life.

I have spent thirteen hours on campus today.  THIRTEEN.  Thirteen hours on campus with a cough like a bullfrog.  It was freezing all day (but beautiful) and I had many things to do.  It’s good to be home.

{click on photo for source}

Here’s a poem for you from my new anthology, The New Poetry.

Distances

The radio is playing downstairs in the kitchen.
The clock says eight and the light says
winter. You are pulling up your hood against a bad morning.

Don’t leave, I say. Don’t go without telling me
the name of that song. You call it back to me from the stairs—
‘I Wish I Was in Carrickfergus’

and the words open out with emigrant grief the way the streets
of a small town open out in
memory: salt-loving fuchsias to one side and

a market in full swing on the other with
linen for sale and tacky apples and a glass and wire hill
of spectacles on a metal tray. The front door bangs

and you’re gone. I will think of it all morning while a fine
drizzle closes in, making the distances
fiction: not of that place but this and of how

restless we would be, you and I, inside the perfect
music of that basalt and sandstone
coastal town. We would walk the streets in

the scentless afternoon of a ballad measure,
longing to be able
to tell each other that the starched lace and linen of

adult handkerchiefs scraped your face and left your tears
falling; how the apples were mush inside the crisp sugar
shell and the spectacles out of focus.

By Eaven Boland

I know how that feels, apples that are mush inside the crisp sugar shell and spectacles out of focus.  Tragic.  Incidentally, Boland is the surname of my maternal grandmother.


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