The Undertaker’s Wife

Does it

bother you, his

hands I mean, the way they

touch and glide, as they have touched

Bodies, death,  and made it new in his way. Do

You think of it at night? The way he breathes besides

you as if – New life he breathed- In a way. And

When he turns to you for comfort, a touch in a

fallen world, do you wonder what he has

seen? And your skin so pale and smooth

does it chill when hands skilled and

deceptive, working against death’s

effects, pull you towards his

chest? For such a life you

live breaking daily bread

in the bitter sweet

shade of death.

June’s Poet: Robert Frost

Photographic Records 4-59-31 Robert Frost in 1892     This month’s poet is Robert Frost. Last month’s poetess was Louise Glück and while I liked a few of her poems (my favorite was her eight part poem on Moses “Day Without Night”) and really enjoyed reading her thoughts on  poetry  in her introductions, I found her difficult to dig into. There were many poems I just outright disliked (mocked orange comes to mind). In general I was never quite sure where she was going with it all. The poet Robert Hass has called her, “one of the purest and most accomplished lyric poets now writing,” All I have to say to that is, I hope not. Ah, well,  I am being harsh. At least I know her name,  have an idea of her work and if someone mentions her in conversation, I won’t be completely lost. Perhaps I will come back to her in a few years with  a greater appreciation. I am, of course,  more familiar with Robert Frost and have always liked his poetry.  I needed a familiar poet to fall into after Glück.

The Kitchen

The fire flashes and pot boils


The dog moves aside crouching

Tail tucked.

The kitchen kept and keeping

Settles and certain tasks

 end, simmer and others begin, again.

With spoon in hand:

A Window is opened,

Just a crack-

The air was too hot, too still

A breeze flows through,

Just enough to keep

Up with the movements:

The swishing of the skirts,

The licking of the floor,

The flickering of the coals.

The cat moves

As he pleases, not thinking

Of others, of the bustle

Like the sparrow, in and out.



The devil doesn’t come

To souls

Horned and pronged.


They say,


He comes with certain beauty,

As an angel





And how am I to know

When he comes?

To say,

“Get behind me!”

If it is my wants recognized?


Dear God,

For Love,

Save me!


I reject all lies,

I reject the father of lies

But now are times of grey-

Or is that a lie too?


Dear God,

For Love,

Save me.


For at times it is all so unclear

to me,

a sinner

amongst the smoke

Amid this burning bush,

What is,

Oh, for love, burn me!


Dear God,

Save me.


It is a grace to ask for grace,

I ask.

It is a grace to receive grace

I must receive –

All is grace!

Let me ask, and ask, and ask –


Harmless, innocent and pure-

Let me coo as a dove at your chest,

Unmoved, Certain and Wise –

Let me strike as a serpent distressed,


Dear God,

Save me,


For Satan whispers in my ear

crimson crystal lies,

Fill me, Dear God and

Cast out these demons inside!




Lace casts shadows on my chest,

I trace the light, the shade?

Which captured first?

It couldn’t be grasped besides:

The lace, The dance, the fight,

Of shade and Light-

Plainly painted.


And do I grasp at shade and light,

In the terrain of minds?

“There. Now.”

And some Say,


Clarity escapes

In a dance of minds-

Yet is also seen,

If one but counts the time.


When I am old

will my hair grey

or  just dull-

Like my mother’s mother’s?


Will I cut it?

Like my Father’s Mother,

or pin it up

Wisps slipping.


My rings –

will they fit snug

on swollen fingers

or will they have that

majestic clank

Like my husband’s Father’s Mother?


When I am dead,

Will this golden relic

of my sweet present

of my marriage bed

Be buried?


Or will it be passed down,

to the newly affianced

in young love,

Unknowing love-

So that they can look to me

and know

love ages

Yet is eternal.

For,  surely I will be canonized only by this-  love.