Evening

Gail Mazur
Sometimes she's Confucian-- 
resolute in privation. . . .

Each day, more immobile, 
hip not mending, legs swollen;

still she carries her grief 
with a hard steadiness.

Twelve years uncompanioned, 
there's no point longing for

what can't return. This morning, 
she tells me, she found a robin

hunched in the damp dirt 
by the blossoming white azalea.

Still there at noon-- 
she went out in the yard

with her 4-pronged metal cane-- 
it appeared to be dying.

Tonight, when she looked again, 
the bird had disappeared and

in its place, under the bush, 
was a tiny egg-- 

"Beautiful robin's-egg blue"-- 
she carried carefully indoors.

"Are you keeping it warm?" 
I ask--what am I thinking?-- 

And she: "Gail, I don't want
a bird, I want a blue egg."

From They Can't Take That Away from Me by Gail Mazur. Copyright © 2000 by Gail Mazur. Reprinted with permission by The University of Chicago Press. All rights reserved.

Gail Mazur

Gail Mazur

by this poet

poem
You're the shadow shadow lurking in me
and the lunatic light waiting in that shadow.
 
Ghostwriter of my half-life, intention's ambush 
I can't prepare for, ruthless whammy 
 
you have me ogling a blinding sun, 
my right eye naked even with both lids closed—
 
glowering sun, unerring navigator 
around this