A Poet Reflects


                              … I read my books untilI nearly broke their spines, and in the cotton field,I repeated whole sections I’d learned by heart,spelling each word in my head to make a pictureI could see, as well as a weight I could feelin my mouth.  So now, even as I write thisand think of you at home, Good-bye
is the waving map of your palm, isa stone on my tongue.
—Natasha Trethewey, from “Letter Home” in Bellocq’s Ophelia  (Graywolf Press, 2002)

                              … I read my books until
I nearly broke their spines, and in the cotton field,
I repeated whole sections I’d learned by heart,
spelling each word in my head to make a picture
I could see, as well as a weight I could feel
in my mouth.  So now, even as I write this
and think of you at home, Good-bye

is the waving map of your palm, is
a stone on my tongue.

—Natasha Trethewey, from “Letter Home” in Bellocq’s Ophelia  (Graywolf Press, 2002)

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