Learn More

Sharon Olds

(November 19, 1942 / San Francisco)

The Daughter Goes To Camp


In the taxi alone, home from the airport,
I could not believe you were gone. My palm kept
creeping over the smooth plastic
to find your strong meaty little hand and
squeeze it, find your narrow thigh in the
noble ribbing of the corduroy,
straight and regular as anything in nature, to
find the slack cool cheek of a
child in the heat of a summer morning—
nothing, nothing, waves of bawling
hitting me in hot flashes like some
change of life, some boiling wave
rising in me toward your body, toward
where it should have been on the seat, your
brow curved like a cereal bowl, your
eyes dark with massed crystals like the
magnified scales of a butterfly's wing, the
delicate feelers of your limp hair,
floods of blood rising in my face as I
tried to reassemble the hot
gritty molecules in the car, to
make you appear like a holograph
on the back seat, pull you out of nothing
as I once did—but you were really gone,
the cab glossy as a slit caul out of
which you had slipped, the air glittering
electric with escape as it does in the room at a birth.


Anonymous submission.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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

Read poems about / on: butterfly, car, birth, believe, change, summer, nature, child, hair, home, alone, dark, daughter, life, rose, children

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 (The Daughter Goes To Camp by Sharon Olds )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie - 0 Points Colleen Courtney (5/15/2014 10:57:00 AM)

    A superbly written piece. She captures the honest feelings of a mom letting her child go for the first time. I remember that feeling myself and she captured it so perfectly. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie V.e. Perkins (11/29/2013 5:29:00 PM)

    This woman has a gift for impossible imagery as in glossy as a slit caul out of which you had slipped,
    the air glittering/ electric with escape as it does in the room of a birth. I wonder if she has made a pact with
    the devil. Such brilliance is supernatural. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  2. A Life-Lesson, James Whitcomb Riley
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
  5. Bluebird, Charles Bukowski
  6. Death is Nothing at All, Henry Scott Holland
  7. A Horse Racing Legend, Hannah Branz
  8. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  9. If, Rudyard Kipling
  10. Buddha in Glory, Rainer Maria Rilke

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. ` Of The Autumn Dying {Sonnet XII/.., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  2. Winter Festival Chant, Luo Zhihai
  3. Of The Autumn Dying {Sonnet 12-20}, Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  4. What If Life Were Just A Dream...?, Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  5. GOD IS NOT RELIGIOUS, Michael P. Johnson
  6. Home, 107 tshepzen
  7. Inanity (2014), MILTON STYNER
  8. Where once you stood, Edward Clapham
  9. Thou hast dove eyes, thou hast dove eyes., devon da poet
  10. Habits, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
[Hata Bildir]