Poem of the Week, by Sharon Olds

– Sharon Olds

Coming in off the dock after writing,
I approached the house,
and saw your long grandee face
in the light of a lamp with a parchment shade
the color of flame.

An elegant hand on your beard. Your tapered
eyes found me on the lawn. You looked
as the lord looks down from a narrow window
and you are descended from lords. Calmly, with no
hint of shyness you examined me,
the wife who runs out on the dock to write
as soon as one child is in bed,
leaving the other to you.

Your long
mouth, flexible as an archer’s bow,
did not curve. We spent a long moment
in the truth of our situation, the poems
heavy as poached game hanging from my hands.

For more information on Sharon Olds, please click here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/sharon-olds

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Alison-McGhee/119862491361265?ref=ts


  1. Denise · March 17, 2013

    …”in the truth of our situation, the poems/
    heavy as poached game hanging from my hands.”

    Oh my. How could so few words, a single image, convey so much complexity between these two married people? His resentment and loneliness and incomprehension…her unrelenting pursuit of her art at at all costs, then bringing home the prize (the joy). I’m in awe! Thanks for sharing poems, Alison – I look for them every week!


  2. alison · March 24, 2013

    Denise, I’m so glad you enjoy the poems! And I completely agree with you about those two lines. They’ve stayed with me since my very first reading of this poem many years ago.


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