Sunday, December 13, 2015

Rukeyser by Gerald Stern


A visit with Muriel in her New York apartment,
helping her in the kitchen, making her tea,
freeing her from a statement but she knew it
by heart and wouldn’t listen though there was a
rupture somewhere in the second sentence,
and we were alone for an hour until her nurse
came back and scolded her for leaving her bed
and sitting with only a loosely knitted shawl
over her shoulders and only a thin slip
to cover her, a silk or rayon; and when
the subject was murder or lying, there was a look of
abandonment to her as it was when she let
her poems fall on the floor in Philadelphia
in the long narrow theater on Walnut Street
but I never finished my tea and I escaped
before the nurse could get to me and I
turned west, for the record, near Lexington, I think,
against the sun, for it was March already.

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