Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MOVING, by KAREN SWENSON



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MOVING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Tenderly I swathe cups in the times
Last Line: As I box my life.
Subject(s): Memory; Moving & Movers


Tenderly I swathe cups in the Times,
pack books and shoes,
box thirteen years of life.
Frame after frame comes down
leaving its place.
The wall outlines the emptiness
and with these pictures I pack others.

My son crawling under the dining-room table
dragging a trail of Swee'pea nightgown
to give a cockeyed grin round the tablecloth's edge.
Days warm with the cicadas' shrill
piercing through the geraniums' falling petals.

Some I would discard.

Nights filled with colic crying and no comfort,
with waiting for a man who did not want a home.
Nights spent in a coma of alcohol and music,
trying to find the string in a maze of marriage.

But though I attempt to keep them
out of the boxes
they slither in;
like roaches they need little space
and have lived here long.
They are indigenous to my life,
cannot be left behind with broken curtain rods.
I hear their dry rustle
in the crumpled leaves of the Times
as I box my life.





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