She was so small I would scan the crib a half-second
to find her, face-down in a corner, limp
as something gently flung down, or fallen
from some sky an inch above the mattress. I would
tuck her arm along her side
and slowly turn her over. She would tumble
over part by part, like a load
of damp laundry, in the dryer, Id slip
a hand in, under her neck,
slide the other under her back,
and evenly lift her up. Her little bottom
sat in my palm, her chest contained
the puckered, moire sacs, and her neck -
I was afraid of her neck, once I almost
thought I heard it quietly snap,
I looked at her and she swivelled her slate
eyes and looked at me. It was in
my care, the creature of her spine, like the first
chordate, as if the history
of the vertebrate had been placed in my hands.
Every time I checked, she was still
with us - someday, there would be a human
race. I could not see it in her eyes,
but when I fed her, gathered her
like a loose bouquet to my side and offered
the breast, greyish-white, and struck with
minuscule scars like creeks in sunlight, I
felt she was serious, I believed she was willing to stay.


About Sharon Olds


Life Sharon Olds was born in 1942 in San Francisco. She was raised as a “hellfire Calvinist”, as she describes it. She says she was by nature "a pagan and a pantheist" and notes "I was in a church where there was both great literary art and bad literary art, the great art being psalms and the bad art being hymns. The four-beat was something that was just part of my consciousness from before I was born." She adds "I think I was about 15 when I conceived of myself as an atheist, but I think it was only very... Read more...

Poet of the day

Giorgos or George Seferis was the pen name of Geōrgios Seferiádēs. He was one of the most important Greek poets of the 20th century, and a Nobel laureate. He was also a career diplomat in the Greek Foreign Service, culminating in his appointment as Ambassador to the UK, a post...
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Poem of the day


Beijar-te a fronte linda

Beijar-te o aspecto altivo

Beijar-te a tez morena

Beijar-te o rir lascivo

Beijar o ar que aspiras

Beijar o pó que pisas

Beijar a voz que soltas

Beijar a luz que visas

Sentir teus modos frios,

Sentir tua apatia,

Sentir até répúdio,

Sentir essa ironia,

Sentir...
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