Poem of the Week | October 02, 2017

This week, we are excited to present a new poem by Andrea Read. Read’s poems have appeared most recently or are forthcoming in FIELD, Copper Nickel, Barrow Street, Tupelo Quarterly, and Parabola. A recipient of a National Resource Fellowship and a Tinker Foundation grant, Andrea received her PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of Chicago and an MFA from Lesley University. Andrea and her family divide their time between Somerville, Massachusetts and mid-coast Maine, where they are establishing a hops farm.
 
 

How Rebecca Got Lifted Up

 

Fire walked right through my ignorance
burned my tree again
oh but goodness
I suffer               I do
legs – all over needles and pins
same spot not healed yet
again   again   oh all of me is
walking           walking

 

God-strength!
God-listen!
God-scrub!

 

Make me such a wife again!
Send blessings – some wisdom
undo it all – loss, mental decline
or better yet my husband’s cries
he’s not
healed yet

 

                               No more
killing, capturing – shoots
of Sparta’s branch
that old violence –
oh how we do kill –
amazes me every day

 

After the crackdown
at the edge of the village
under the tree
I thought and thought
              about supper

 

Am I the only one who thinks anymore
about what’s for supper

 

With every loss I go
down the fields to dig –
go down there daily
with my hoe and bucket –
I cook supper
I wade myself right
into that river
And I shout oh I am sorry
I am definitely sorry
my left & right-leaning
mean spirit’s changed entirely
I am not your woman any more
Lord lift me up
Oh make me a wife again!
I am good good good

 
 

Author’s Note:

This poem is one of a series that investigates remorse as a physical, emotional, and spiritual experience. Many of the poems deal with the peculiar violence language is capable of inflicting, its power to heal, and how (or whether) we reckon with the immense damage we cause one another. War and its aftermath are, for me, a way to express the intermingling of pain, loss, and beauty in our most intimate relationships.
 

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