Poetry May 2009

Celebration

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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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