Thursday, February 02, 2006

St Brigid's Feast Always Sneaks Up On Me

My Knitting Teacher tipped me off to a celebration of The Feast Of St Brigid (aka Groundhog Day) at Grace's Poppies.

The celebration is a silent poetry reading and I want to share one that was sent to me just this week by an old friend. It resonated with me anyway, so I am glad for the "pressure" to share.


IN THE SECULAR NIGHT

Margaret Atwood

In the secular night you wander around
alone in your house. It's two-thirty.
Everyone has deserted you,
or this is your story;
you remember it from being sixteen,
when the others were out somewhere, having a
good time,
or so you suspected,
and you had to baby-sit.
You took a large scoop of vanilla ice-cream
and filled up the glass with grapejuice
and ginger ale, and put on Glenn Miller
with his big-band sound,
and lit a cigarette and blew the smoke up the chimney,
and cried for a while because you were not dancing,
and then danced, by yourself, your mouth circled
with purple.


Now, forty years later, things have changed,
and it's baby lima beans.
It's necessary to reserve a secret vice.
This is what comes from forgetting to eat
at the stated mealtimes. You simmer them
carefully,
drain, add cream and pepper,
and amble up and down the stairs,
scooping them up with your fingers right out of the
bowl,
talking to yourself out loud.
You'd be surprised if you got an answer,
but that part will come later.


There is so much silence between the words,
you say. You say, The sensed absence
of God and the sensed presence
amount to much the same thing,
only in reverse.
You say, I have too much white clothing.
You start to hum.
Several hundred years ago
this could have been mysticism
or heresy. It isn't now.
Outside there are sirens.
Someone's been run over.
The century grinds on.


Go. Hurry and post a poem before day's end, then post a comment on Grace's Poppies.

2 comments:

Amerloc said...

"It's necessary to reserve a secret vice."

Sounds like an awesome blog LOL

Your Knitting Teacher said...

Love your choice for the Silent Poetry Reading. Sounds a little like "When I was 17"...