Friday, November 13, 2009

The Burglary

This poem is in this week’s New Yorker.

The Burglary

They stole my mother's silver,
melting it down, perhaps,

into pure mineral, worth
only its own weight.

We must eat with our hands now,
grab for food

in this new place of greed,
our table set

only with memories, tarnishing
even as we speak:

my mother holding a shining ladle
in her hand,

serving the broth
to children who will forget

to polish her silver, forget even
to lock the house.

While forks and spoons are divided
from all purpose,

patterns are lost like friezes
after centuries of rain,

and every knife is robbed
of its cutting edge.

Linda Pastan

Lauris Edmond introduced me to the poetry of Linda Pastan. She told me the American poet’s take on domesticity and relationships was as good as you could get. She was correct. So it was with interest and pleasure I read this poem and its expression of that sense of violation that is the consequence of an act of burglary.

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