poem index

Spirit

Maggie Nelson
The spirit of Jane 
lives on in you,
my mother says

trying to describe
who I am. I feel like the girl
in the late-night movie

who gazes up in horror
at the portrait of
her freaky ancestor

as she realizes 
they wear the same
gaudy pendant

round their necks.
For as long as I can
remember, my grandfather

has made the same slip:
he sits in his kitchen,
his gelatinous blue eyes

fixed on me. Well Jane, 
he says, I think I’ll have
another cup of coffee.

Copyright © 2005 by Maggie Nelson. From Jane: A Murder In Poems. Reprinted with permission of Soft Skull Press.

Maggie Nelson