Some years I’d open six or eight pomegranates in one afternoon, standing in the kitchen to separate pith from pulp, cradling a knife in a penumbral palm, the tap of the blade against the metal sink, the soft ghostly bodies of rotten seeds floating in a bowl of stained water. My parents named me for a woman who gave milk and shelter hand in dissembled hand with hammer and stake. Those who fell asleep at her feet woke fixed and bloodied at their temples. Sometimes I feel this wish for someone there, just as a mirror to capture my hands raising the weapon in profile, to prove I am doing things and can be beautiful.
An excellent poem by my long time internet-friend Yael Levy.
High quality giclée prints available at etsy. Distilling literary quotes from a handful of the masters down to a single graphic representation, Evan captures the raw concept of the sentence and makes it damn purty to look at as well.
The Seamus Heaney poem got me. My mother passed away five years ago (in 3 weeks time) and after she died we had a commemorative bench with that poem inscribed on it along the boardwalk of Lake Ontario where her window looked out on. She, though a very composed woman, had a schoolgirl crush on the Heaney and finally met him in her fifties. You posting this today seemed like she was giving me a little 'I'm here even on strangers blogs' poke. Thanks for posting.
That is beautiful. My mother is still living, though barely in my life, and though I couldn’t come close to understanding a meaningful passing like his or yours, it still affects me deeply as well. Those lines in particular are core-shaking. Those simple memories that represent closeness and how they stay with you and later in life ascend their own simplicity is nothing short of gorgeous, heartbreaking, and real. Thank you for sharing that with me and I’m always insanely glad to see any silly thing I post that I love can resonate with someone else. Of course she’s here. You’re alive aren’t you?
When all the others were away at Mass
I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
They broke the silence, let fall one by one
Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
Cold comforts set between us, things to share
Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
And again let fall. Little pleasant splashes
From each other’s work would bring us to our senses.
So while the parish priest at her bedside
Went hammer and tongs at prayers for the dying
And some were responding and some crying
I remembered her head bent towards my head,
Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives —
Never closer the whole rest of our lives.