Learn More

Sharon Olds

(November 19, 1942 / San Francisco)

I Go Back to May 1937


I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks,
the wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips aglow in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don’t do it—she’s the wrong woman,
he’s the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you have not heard of,
you are going to want to die. I want to go
up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don’t do it. I want to live. I
take them up like the male and female
paper dolls and bang them together
at the hips, like chips of flint, as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.

Submitted: Saturday, November 19, 2011
Edited: Saturday, November 19, 2011

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

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 (I Go Back to May 1937 by Sharon Olds )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 4 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  2. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  3. The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
  4. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  5. A Fairytale, Apolynn Lagaras
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  8. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
  9. April Rain Song, Langston Hughes
  10. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou

Poem of the Day

poet James Whitcomb Riley

There! little girl; don't cry!
They have broken your doll, I know;
And your tea-set blue,
And your play-house, too,
Are things of the long ago;
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Cage, Sarvesh wahie
  2. You Keep The Sea, Naveed Akram
  3. There's nothing like dance, Yisel Chong
  4. No One Could Ever Understand, Thabang Rakimane
  5. You made me evil, Yisel Chong
  6. The time machine, Yisel Chong
  7. Blue-eyed boy Mr. Death for e.e. cummings, r james sterzinger
  8. Salvation Jane, vince gullaci
  9. A Girl Called Memory, Mashewa1 Nthele
  10. A Fairytale, Apolynn Lagaras
[Hata Bildir]