patricia Kirkpatrick


I must look like I'm confident,
white cup for tea on the table before me,
my son in his indigo bunting,
asleep in the stroller.
When I take out my pen
I must look like a woman
who knows what her work is
while citron and currant
bake in ovens behind me.
Newspaper, lily--
I read in the book that poetry is about the divine.
God came to the window while I was in labor.
Tenderness, tenderness!
I have never forgotten that
sparrow among the clay tiles.
Who knows my name knows I mash
oatmeal, change diapers,
want truly to enter divinity.
God knows it too, knows that
wherever I go now I leave out
some part of me.
I watch my son's face like a clock;
he is the time I have.
If I choose this window, this black and white notebook,
I must appear to be what I am:
a woman who has chosen a table
between her sleeping child
and the beginning of everything.


after Adelia Prado