A Week Later Poem by Sharon Olds

A Week Later

Rating: 3.3

A week later, I said to a friend: I don't
think I could ever write about it.
Maybe in a year I could write something.
There is something in me maybe someday
to be written; now it is folded, and folded,
and folded, like a note in school. And in my dream
someone was playing jacks, and in the air there was a
huge, thrown, tilted jack
on fire. And when I woke up, I found myself
counting the days since I had last seen
my husband-only two years, and some weeks,
and hours. We had signed the papers and come down to the
ground floor of the Chrysler Building,
the intact beauty of its lobby around us
like a king's tomb, on the ceiling the little
painted plane, in the mural, flying. And it
entered my strictured heart, this morning,
slightly, shyly as if warily,
untamed, a greater sense of the sweetness
and plenty of his ongoing life,
unknown to me, unseen by me,
unheard, untouched-but known, seen,
heard, touched. And it came to me,
for moments at a time, moment after moment,
to be glad for him that he is with the one
he feels was meant for him. And I thought of my
mother, minutes from her death, eighty-five
years from her birth, the almost warbler
bones of her shoulder under my hand, the
eggshell skull, as she lay in some peace
in the clean sheets, and I could tell her the best
of my poor, partial love, I could sing her
out with it, I saw the luck
and luxury of that hour.

Anonymous submission.

Colleen Courtney 15 May 2014

So much feeling in this heartfelt write.

3 1 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 19 November 2016

Playing jacks! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

2 0 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 19 November 2016

A beautifully conceived meaningful write full of emotional out-bursts. Congrats on modern Poem of the Day.

2 0 Reply
R Soos 19 November 2016

so many stories stashed quickly into a single poem - tough to do convincingly - and Sharon pulls it off.

2 0 Reply
Birgitta Abimbola Heikka 19 November 2016

Nice poem. I did not understand it at first. It’s about something lost (I think) . Like the reference of the lobby to the beauty of a king’s tomb—silent and dead but there is still a beauty about it.

2 0 Reply
Bill Grace 06 November 2022

I feel she is one of our greats and that it is our duty to push her notoriety.

1 0 Reply
Kingsley Egbukole 17 December 2019

Touching and interesting.

1 0 Reply
Anil Kumar Panda 17 December 2019

Deeply meaningful write on love and life. Nicely crafted. Enjoyed reading. Thanks for posting.

0 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 17 December 2019

the moment the hour spent through the great love feelings and it touched the soul of eternity!

1 0 Reply
Paul Reed 17 December 2019

That is so powerful and wonderful to read

2 0 Reply
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