Academic journal article The Hudson Review

First Flight

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

First Flight

Article excerpt

Thoms and roses thrive on the same tree,

You quoted, and cleaned my wrist at the pump.

I followed you around the chicken yard,

Helped milk the cow, and pick the corn for dinner.

You grew big yellow tomatoes and fat squash,

Always a row of zinnias-and roses, roses.

Forty-five years since your death! The EgyptianFigured

handbag you gave me was stolen,

The farmhouse dismantled brick by red brick.

No trains run from Paris to Cincinnati.

The thorns are everywhere. Look at my hands

Scraped and clawed by age, not rosy briars.

When they clean out my drawers for a yard sale,

They'll find your big locket, engraved with "N"-

And this old wind-up watch belonged to you.

The band is grosgrain ribbon, the catch gold.

You made your own dresses from flowered goods

Sold in town, big bolts on dusty shelves,

And you quilted me a pillow from the scraps.

I put my cheek against the puckered squares

So many nights the cotton wore to shreds. …

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