Sharon Olds

(November 19, 1942 / San Francisco)

One Year


When I got to his marker, I sat on it,
like sitting on the edge of someone's bed
and I rubbed the smooth, speckled granite.
I took some tears from my jaw and neck
and started to wash a corner of his stone.
Then a black and amber ant
ran out onto the granite, and off it,
and another ant hauled a dead
ant onto the stone, leaving it, and not coming back.
Ants ran down into the grooves of his name
and dates, down into the oval track of the
first name's O, middle name's O,
the short O of his last name,
and down into the hyphen between
his birth and death--little trough of his life.
Soft bugs appeared on my shoes,
like grains of pollen, I let them move on me,
I rinsed a dark fleck of mica,
and down inside the engraved letters
the first dots of lichen were appearing
like stars in early evening.
I saw the speedwell on the ground with its horns,
the coiled ferns, copper-beech blossoms, each
petal like that disc of matter which
swayed, on the last day, on his tongue.
Tamarack, Western hemlock,
manzanita, water birch
with its scored bark,
I put my arms around a trunk and squeezed it,
then I lay down on my father's grave.
The sun shone down on me, the powerful
ants walked on me. When I woke,
my cheek was crumbly, yellowish
with a mustard plaster of earth. Only
at the last minute did I think of his body
actually under me, the can of
bone, ash, soft as a goosedown
pillow that bursts in bed with the lovers.
When I kissed his stone it was not enough,
when I licked it my tongue went dry a moment, I
ate his dust, I tasted my dirt host.
Anonymous submission.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Form:


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

Read poems about / on: birth, father, water, dark, death, sun, running, star, kiss

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 (One Year by Sharon Olds )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  5. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  6. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Watch Free [28th] WWE Royal Rumble 2015 .., Noah Hariss
  8. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  10. A Red, Red Rose, Robert Burns

Poem of the Day

poet Christopher Marlowe

It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate.
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should love, the other win;

...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. My life, Shawn Grace
  2. Learning To Drive, Kristen Brown
  3. Christmas Angel, louis rams
  4. To Bed! To Bed!, David Lewis Paget
  5. Lie, Sydney Bramer
  6. Christmas Holiday Thanks, louis rams
  7. Worthless, Sydney Bramer
  8. Wishing..., Almedia Knight Oliver
  9. I Do Love, michael walkerjohn
  10. My Pretty Baby, Vera Sidhwa
[Hata Bildir]