New Poem

A new poem from the poetry retreat. Still raw. Line breaks need work. But here it is.

Thinking of Lucille Clifton’s “if i stand in my window” at the Convent

                                        —St. Marguerites Retreat House, December 10, 2011

Who wouldn’t want to lower her nightgown
or raise her blouse and push her breasts,
nipples tight as a raisins, against the frosted window,
forming rain drops around dark clouds on a cold December morning.
No thing to bear witness accept the 100-year old pines
and a stray doe anticipating the startle of human.
I think of the women here who married God, to have and to hold no other,
their black habits draping down to the floor, and the young girls who stayed here
when the convent was an orphanage, the childhood of girls lived in dorms,
learning to love each other like family with God as their father.
Did they peer out the window down to the lonely bench
and wish for the startle of a boy? A mother’s call? Or a life beyond this?
A breast on glass is nothing but a marker of time.
Who wouldn’t want to raise a blouse and announce
to the world, “I am here?” I am here.

This is the best link I could find to Ms. Lucille's original poem. (Watch out for pop ups.)


Cindy Veach said…
Jan, it is a wonderful poem. Thanks for sharing it. Cindy
Liz said…
Yes, love the poem too.
January said…
Thanks Cindy, Liz.


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