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Alicia Ostriker

Winter 1994

Normal

By Alicia Ostriker

Assent, and you are the sane . . . Emily Dickinson First classes, the sun is out, the darlings Troop in, my colleagues Tell me I look normal. I am […]

Winter 1994

The Gurney

By Alicia Ostriker

from THE MASTECTOMY POEMS What’s this long corridor above the street What are these ceiling tiles Why in my horizontal state Am I so like an undemanding child After they […]

Winter 1994

Riddle: Post-op

By Alicia Ostriker

A-tisket a-tasket I’m out of my casket Into my hospital room With a view of Riverside DriveWhere the snow is a feathery shawl My children plump as chestnuts by the […]

Winter 1994

December Thirty-First

By Alicia Ostriker

I say this year no different From any other, so we party, the poets And physicists arrive bearing Cheeses, chile, sesame noodles, Meats, mints, whatever– Champagne–Filling up the sideboard, Filling […]

Winter 1994

The River

By Alicia Ostriker

Sluiced with the city’s detritus To the glum hands of the sea, Afraid of dark, afraid of cold, She turns and calls for me. When other floating fragments (Every one […]

Winter 1994

Healing

By Alicia Ostriker

Brilliant–A day that is less than zero Icicles fat as legs of deer Hang in a row from the porch roof A hand without a mitten Grabs and breaks one […]

Summer 1991

Esther, or the World Turned Upside Down

By Alicia Ostriker

                                  for Richard Howard They tell the story of Esther to children. It’s a folktale. Horror wrapped up as entertainment, threat of annihilation averted. Once a year we imagine the victory […]

Spring 1990

The Wisdom of Solomon

By Alicia Ostriker

from The Nakedness of the Fathers Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall […]