O C T O B E R 1 9 9 6
TARGETby Linda Gregerson
Hear Linda Gregerson read this poem (in RealAudio).
1.What is, says the chorus, this human
do you know the part I'm
talking about? What is this
has just left the stage
scene) to brood on her terrible work.
but my friend wasn't thinking
says the mother, for all
in the sink, is sick
still flexed as it was in the womb
in them yet, you see, their very excrement
in the porcelain rim, the drain
mortal dangers in the kitchen drawer.
as I've felt looking down on the live
for children? They just make a bigger
2.The thing she can't be rid of is that
would believe her. Not the uniformed
policeman at the edge of town (and surely
could scarcely have amounted to
nor her own forbidding father nor
at the jury trial,
count. Late morning
(the other crash was yet to come),
no help from the mild
to the dead girl's house and de-
unwilling, whoever took pity
light: the courtroom in Chicago with its
of violets. And one moving one way while the car
3.For those who think, as he did once,
advertent suffering is the worst of it here,
in the range between hating thy neighbor
where people live, the range
versation with a captured Serb.
I am happy, he said. He must
while he lay in the high half-light with his
angle on the heart and hearth's acute.
the street with his mother.
from language to language; this isn't
obscene, the god-from-a-machine
is "happy": coincident
There is something so fantastic on the mother's face.
Copyright © 1996 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; October 1996; India Cotton Shirt; Volume 278, No. 4; page 94.