Grace Paley

(11 December 1922 – 22 August 2007 / Bronx, New York)

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Here I am in the garden laughing
an old woman with heavy breasts
and a nicely mapped face

how did this happen
well that's who I wanted to be

at last a woman
in the old style sitting
stout thighs apart under
a big skirt grandchild sliding
on off my lap a pleasant
summer perspiration

that's my old man across the yard
he's talking to the meter reader
he's telling him the world's sad story
how electricity is oil or uranium
and so forth I tell my grandson
run over to your grandpa ask him
to sit beside me for a minute I
am suddenly exhausted by my desire
to kiss his sweet explaining lips.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Wednesday, October 05, 2011

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Read poems about / on: woman, kiss, sad, summer, world, women, running

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  • Rookie - 165 Points Karen Sinclair (10/25/2014 10:50:00 PM)

    Silly me. I'm in tears. What a perfectly formed piece of writing. I could see this picture so clearly and wanted to step in and smile. This is how poetry should be. Uncontrived, honest, beautifully put, welcoming, intimate and with a twist at the end to gather a smile. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 165 Points Karen Sinclair (10/25/2012 3:56:00 AM)

    Just perfect......this sets the scene in my minds eye of my past and future in equal measures.....wonderful... (Report) Reply

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