Norman Dubie

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

only taxis.

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–

the Sisters

are their own dark umbrellas, folding

                                                         among the winter trees.




“South Boston Morning, ’53:” is from The Volcano (Copper Canyon Press, 2010).