Poetry May 2009

Celebration

Seeing, in April, hostas unfurl like arias,
and tulips, white cups inscribed with licks of flame,
gaze feverish, grown almost to my waist,
and the oak raise new leaves for benediction,
I mourn for what does not come back: the movie theater—
reels spinning out vampire bats, last trains,
the arc of Chaplin’s cane, the hidden doorways—
struck down for a fast-food store; your rangy stride;
my shawl of hair; my mother’s grand piano.
My mother.

                             How to make it new,
how to find the gain in it? Ask the sea
at sunrise how a million sparks can fly
over dead bones.

Grace Schulman’s most recent collection is The Broken String (2007). She teaches at Baruch College, in New York City.
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