Martha Rhodes



Poems By Rita Dove

The Bridgetower

Demeter, Waiting

The House Slave




Demeter, Waiting

No. Who can bear it. Only someone
who hates herself, who believes
to pull a hand back from a daughter’s cheek
is to put love into her pocket—
like one of those ashen Christian
philosophers, or a war-bound soldier.

She is gone again and I will not bear
it, I will drag my grief through a winter
of my own making and refuse
any meadow that recycles itself into
hope. Shit on the cicadas, dry meteor
flash, finicky butterflies! I will wail and thrash
until the whole goddamned golden panorama freezes
over. Then I will sit down to wait for her. Yes.





From MOTHER LOVE (W.W. Norton, 1995)







    Poetry Center Reading:
    Fall 2010