Getting It Right
|I think about the corrupting influence of memory|
-Eavan Boland, February 6, 1996
But you don't get it right. The color's too gaudy, the yearning lost.
No one is prepared for this work. Try the day you first gave birth—
skin, blood, milk, her closed eyes, joy when she finds your nipple.
Narrow the focus to a single moment when you were very young,
the feather falling from a scrub jay's wing, feather that rested in grass,
brilliant there, a misplaced scrap of sky. See how blue spines
curve away from a hollow shaft. The slightest wind lifts it.
You can attempt an entire decade, the sixties maybe, whittle it down
to a metaphor: one highway, the thicket of hand painted signs—Ain't gonna
study war no more—an actual country, your adolescent body its map.
Whatever you choose will be unrecoverable, a fish story, the silvery form
sinking into shadow so deep we don't have a name for it.
Poems by Sharon Fain:
TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets