Thursday, April 13, 2017

Personal Effects

I have for some years subscribed to a daily edition of The Writer’s Almanac.   It is a quite wonderful birthday call on writers and poets.    It is a free subscription and I recommend it to you.

I am not big on poetry, but the following is my all time favourite.

Personal Effects
By Frannie Lindsay

For once not arguing,
we divide among ourselves
the things she left; her mother’s mothers’s
swan brooch, her pilled and odorless
brown coat, sturdy Timex,
the night shirt she mended
with clashing thread.

The morning before, I sat
by my mother’s bed
to ask her what she would like
the paper to say about her
life. It was like bring read a story 
backwards, the reader becoming 
the child afraid to fall asleep.

With the shift nurse helping 
and some baby oil, and trembling
the way he did the day he slipped it on,
my father bends over 
the quieted body I thought I saw breathe,
and slides off her wedding ring.

1 comment:

Bernie said...

Sad really but all of us experience this at some point in our lives.