Archive for July, 2010

WASTEFUL GESTURE ONLY NOT – By Tony Hoagland

Today’s poem is titled:

WASTEFUL GESTURE ONLY NOT – By Tony Hoagland

Ruth visits her mother’s grave in the California hills.

She knows her mother isn’t there but the rectangle of grass

marks off the place where the memories are kept,

like a library book named “Dororthy”.

Some of the chapters might be: “Dorothy:

Better Bird-Watcher Than Cook”;

“Dorothy: Wife and Atheist”;

“Passionate Recycler Dorothy. Here Lies But Not,”

In the summer hills, where the tall tough grass

reminds you of persistence

and the endless wind

reminds you of indifference,

Ruth brings batches of white roses,

extravagant gesture not entirely wasteful

because as soon as she is gone she knows

the deer come out of the woods to eat them.

Wha was made for the eye

goes into the mouth, thinks Ruth to herself as she drives away,

and in bed when she tries to remember her mother,

she drifts instead to the roses,

and when she thinks about the roses she

sees instead the deer chewing them —

the pale petals of the roses in the dark

warm bellies of the sleeping deer —

that’s what going to sleep is like.


13

07 2010