Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL HESTER PRYNNE?, by KAREN SWENSON



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WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL HESTER PRYNNE?, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Pity him up to his waist in middle age
Last Line: "gabriel told me to."
Subject(s): Hawthorne, Nathaniel (1804-1864); Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Women - Bible; Virgin Mary


Pity him up to his waist in middle age,
neither celibate nor pervert in ceramics, only ultimate
with a finger caught in the clay cookie jar.

Leading under the slatted moonlight
of palm trees, opening, shutting,
like a nervous venetian blind -
he said shyly,
"Have you ever done this before?"
She said, "No,"
curling her toes expectantly into the sand.
God sighed relief through his gray beard.

I don't know what happened to him. But she went home,
a smug pendulum of skirts, to inform her husband,
who had angelic nightmares ever after,
"Gabriel told me to."





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