Home After Three Months Away
Gone now the baby's nurse,
a lioness who ruled the roost
and made the Mother cry.
She used to tie
gobbets of porkrind in bowknots of gauze-
three months they hung like soggy toast
on our eight foot magnolia tree,
and helped the English sparrows
weather a Boston winter.
Three months, three months!
Is Richard now himself again?
Dimpled with exaltation,
my daughter holds her levee in the tub.
Our noses rub,
each of us pats a stringy lock of hair-
they tell me nothing's gone.
Though I am forty-one,
not forty now, the time I put away
was child's play. After thirteen weeks
my child still dabs her cheeks
to start me shaving. When
we dress her in her sky-blue corduroy,
she changes to a boy,
and floats my shaving brush
and washcloth in the flush....
Dearest I cannot loiter here
in lather like a polar bear.
Recuperating, I neither spin nor toil.
Three stories down below,
a choreman tends our coffin's length of soil,
and seven horizontal tulips blow.
Just twelve months ago,
these flowers were pedigreed
imported Dutchmen; no no one need
distinguish them from weed.
Bushed by the late spring snow,
they cannot meet
another year's snowballing enervation.
I keep no rank nor station.
Cured, I am frizzled, stale and small.
Robert Lowell's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Home After Three Months Away by Robert Lowell )
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(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
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- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
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- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Death is Nothing at All, Henry Scott Holland
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
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