Thursday, September 24, 2009

no gerbil

I'll admit I initially liked this poem for the title, but actually I kind of like the whole thing.

Forty-One, Alone, No Gerbil

Sharon Olds

In the strange quiet, I realize
there's no on else in the house. No bucktooth
mouth pulls at stainless-steel teat, no
hairy mammal runs on a treadmill--
Charlie is dead, the last of our children's half-children.
When our daughter found him lying in the shavings, trans-
mogrified backwards from a living body
into a bolt of rodent bread
she turned her back on early motherhood
and went on single, with nothing. Crackers,
Fluffy, Pretzel, Biscuit, Charlie,
buried on the old farm we bought
where she could know nature. Well, now she knows it
and it sucks. Creatures she loved, mobile and
needy, have gone down stiff and indifferent,
she will not adopt again though she cannot
have children yet, her body like a blueprint
of the understructure for a woman's body,
so now everything stops for a while,
now I must wait many years
to hear in this house again the faint
powerful calls of a young animal.

2 comments:

Lauren said...

"Well, now she knows it and it sucks." Haha!

ammie said...

Right? I also like the phrase "bolt of rodent bread."