Evening

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Dec. 5 1996 3:30 AM

Evening

27_cleardot

(posted Wednesday, Dec. 4; to be composted Wednesday, Dec. 11)

To hear the poet read "Evening," click here or on the title.

Sometimes she's Confucian--
resolute in privation ...

Each day, more immobile,
hip not mending, legs swollen;

still she carries her grief
with a hard steadiness.

Twelve years uncompanioned,
there's no point longing for

what can't return. This morning,
she tells me, she found a sick

robin, hunched in the damp dirt
by the blossoming white

azalea. Still there at noon--
she went out in the yard

with her 4-pronged metal cane--
it appeared to be dying.

Tonight, when she looked again,
the bird had disappeared and

in its place, under the bush,
was a tiny egg--

"beautiful robin's-egg blue"--
she carried carefully indoors.

"Are you keeping it warm?"
I ask--what am I thinking?--

And she: "Gail, I don't want
a bird, I want a blue egg."

27_cleardot
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Gail Mazur's fifth book, Zeppo's First Wife: New & Selected Poems, won the 2006 Massachusetts Book Award in poetry. Her most recent collection of poems, Figures in a Landscape, was published n 2011. She is distinguished writer in residence in the graduate program of Emerson College.