Winter 1965 • Vol. XXVII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1965 |

My Grandmother at the Library

Her life's untempered still. In summer she'll drop reserve and coolly telephone enemies she's made to make it up. "Did you know Aristippus thought motion happiness?" She'll slump and laugh, "I must be off." Her husband sang. When "Faustus" left for Baltimore, he promised, "I'll be back," and was— for scores. Forty years or more she's kept Madame Butterfly locked up. Remembering, she mumbles I'd rather be then what I seemed or out of this and dreams. The babeled speechless mouths she talks to understand death's a stoppage sticks dust in jaws. "The world's no stage but starts and quits!" she raged that day her son-in-law tried to pledge her soul to Christian wits. "Dirt's dirt, and that's what I'll be when you pray for me!" Last closing time at the library her daughter caught her hunched on Revelations. Aside, the desk attendant clicked his lips, "She won't move that knee if it's not fixed." Today she drags a Frankenstein hip as she unshelves Isadora Duncan's acts, t

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece

Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More


Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.


With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.