Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sisters by Grace Paley - from the Poetry Daily Newsletter


My friends are dying

well we're old     it's natural

one day we passed the experience of "older"

which began in late middle age

and came suddenly upon "old" then

all the little killing bugs and

baby tumors that had struggled

for years against the body's

brave immunities found their

level playing fields and


but this is not what I meant to

tell you     I wanted to say that

my friends were dying but have now

become absent     the word dead is correct

but inappropriate

I have not taken their names out of

conversation   gossip   political argument

my telephone book or card index in

whatever alphabetical or contextual

organizer     I can stop any evening of

the lonesome week at Claiborne   Bercovivi

Vernarelli   Deming and rest a moment

on their seriousness as artists   workers

their excitement as political actors in the

streets of our cities or in their workplaces

the vigiling   fasting   praying in or out

of jail   their lighthearted ness which floated

above the year's despair

their courageous sometimes hilarious

disobediences before the state's official

servants     their fidelity to the idea that

it is possible with only a little extra anguish

to live in this world     at absolute [minimum?]

loving brainy sexual energetic redeemed

Grace Paley
Gulf Coast

Summer/Fall 2008

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OHHH! Thank you.