Sunday, February 12, 2012

Your Sunday Poem

This droll piece is by Ruth Stone from "What Love Comes To.  New & Selected Poems."

The Follies of My Youth 

 It's taken me eighty-five years
to become mediocre.
How brilliant I was;
how I threw it away like used Kleenex.
I never walked the side streets of New York,
I never played tennis,
I never swam in the Olympic pool --
I know my boundaries.

My neighbor's daughter
married into the Hogg Drugstore
and died of uterine cancer at thirty.
What was all that for?
At a party given by this new rich family
I ignored my partner, the short brother.
The short brother and the tall brother
were twins.  I wanted to dance with the tall one.
The short one went inside and cried.
His mother made cruel remarks about me.

Could I have done the same as the neighbor's daughter,
married the short Hogg brother, and died young, too?
Here I am, old and poor.
Where is that short twin now?
Where is his loyal mother?
But I didn't think of bettering myself;
there were too many books in the world.
There was so much I wanted to read.


Alon Perlman said...

Caustic; the choices we don't make, and the choices we make as we revisit, review and rewrite our own history.
So many books to read...
Thanks for shortening the list, Ann.

As for the old gal, Szymborska (from Wiki). - When asked why she had published so few poems, she said: "I have a trash can in my home".

Churadogs said...

Precious, is right. A real pro, who knows for every 10 poems, only one will be any good. Just the nature of "art." Gotta kiss a lot of frogs.