South Boston Morning, ’53:
Very pragmatic closets of falling water,
bath and sewer, complex
dwellers eating black bread,
molasses and stringy beef,
eggs like fat flowers
smack the backs of griddlecakes
and rain is thrown against the window
white and elastic with one blue gull
in a loud commentary.
The sea is dark and choppy.
So far, out on the vellum streets
Three nuns sit on the stone bench
and study the storm without contempt,
without leaping into the arms of it–
though wild brides they may be,
though sea air, in heavy volume,
is pushing the dull grey farms
of New Hampshire
into a long familiar misery–
are their own dark umbrellas, folding
among the winter trees.
“South Boston Morning, ’53:” is from The Volcano (Copper Canyon Press, 2010).