Marilyn Hacker

Paragraphs from a Day-Book

Cherry-ripe: dark sweet burlats, scarlet reverchons
firm-fleshed and tart in the mouth
bigarreaux, peach-and-white napoléons
as the harvest moves north
from Provence to the banks of the Yonne
(they grow napoléons in Washington
State now). Before that, garriguettes,
from Périgord, in wooden punnets
afterwards, peaches: yellow-fleshed, white,
moss-skinned ruby pêches de vigne.
The vendors cry out "Taste," my appetite
does, too.. Birdsong, from an unseen
source on this street-island, too close for the trees:
it’s a young woman with a tin basin
of plastic whistles moulded like canaries.

– which children warbled on in Claremont Park
one spring day in my third year. Gísela
my father’s mother, took
me there. I spent the days with her
now that my mother had gone back to work.
In her brocade satchel, crochet-work, a picture-book
for me. But overnight the yellow bird
whistles had appeared
and I wanted one passionately.
Watching big girls play hopscotch at curb’s edge
or telling stories to V.J
under the shiny leaves of privet hedge
were pale pastimes compared to my desire
Did I hector one of the privileged
warblers to tell us where they were acquired?

– the candy store on Tremont Avenue
Of course I don’t call her Gísela.
I call her Grandma.. "Grandma will buy it for you,"
– does she add "mammele "
not letting her annoyance filter through
as an old-world friend moves into view?
The toddler and the stout
grey-haired woman walk out
of the small park toward the shopping streets
into a present tense
where what’s ineffaceable repeats
itself. Accidents.
I dash ahead, new whistle in my hand
She runs behind. The car. The almost-silent
thud. Gísela, prone, also silent, on the ground.

Death is the scandal that was always hidden.
I never saw my grandmother again
Who took me home? Somebody did. In
the next few days (because that afternoon
and night are blank) I don’t think I cried, I didn’t
know what to ask (I wasn’t three), and then I did, and
"She’s gone to live in Florida" they said
and I knew she was dead.
A black woman, to whom I wasn’t nice,
was hired to look after me.
Her name was Josephine – and that made twice
I’d heard that name: my grandmother’s park crony
was Josephine. Where was Grandma; where was Gísela ?
she called me to her bench to ask one day.
I say, "She’s gone to live in Florida."

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: shopping, candy, woman, work, mother, car, father, spring, children, friend, home, dark, death, women, tree, child, girl, running

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Paragraphs from a Day-Book by Marilyn Hacker )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley Updates

New Poems

  1. The Tears of A Woman, Who Can Underatnd .., Bijay Kant Dubey
  2. Love Is A Groovy Thing, Electric Lady
  3. I Think, tallulah montegue
  4. Fill Free, Teye Wayoe Ebenezer
  5. The Unabridged Treaty, Bazi alis Subrata Ray
  6. Fron(t) s, Leylek D. Sovura
  7. Ode to the Old and Tired, tallulah montegue
  8. What Sort of Judges Are They Who Conside.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  9. Morning Kiss, Matt Mooney
  10. A Conservative Guardian Can Only Do Hono.., Bijay Kant Dubey

Poem of the Day

poet Edmund Spenser

Of this worlds theatre in which we stay,
My love like the spectator ydly sits
Beholding me that all the pageants play,
Disguysing diversly my troubled wits.
...... Read complete »

[Hata Bildir]