Summer 1982 • Vol. IV No. 3 Contemporary American PoetryJuly 1, 1982 |

For My Mother

The hand of peace you sent from Israelhangs on my wall like an ironic testamentto the one quality we have never shared.I imagine you peering into that ancient vistaas if discovering God in the brilliant sunlight,worrying no doubt about your bunions & weak ankles.These words have been a long time in coming. Yes,I was always writing to the dead, but griefhas an end. It is a room without walls, a quietperfectly suited to my talent for elegy. Redemptionis a moment with light enough to soften the painof discovery. The living are another matter.I was never easy on you. I have seen the scarbig as the sky's zipper on your belly. They cutyou open & ripped out six pounds of hungerdemanding to be adored. You lost your figure& named me Big Mouth Big Pain Big Wanting.Sons, you said, suck a woman dry & leavefor someone with stronger ankles & a backhard enough to stretch the light untilit snaps. Yes, men are more selfish.We cut ourselves open for the sheer pleasureof being aliv

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PHILIP SCHULTZ’s latest books are Living in the Past (Harcourt, 2004) and The Holy Worm of Praise (Harcourt, 2002). He founded and directs the Writers Studio in New York City and lives in East Hampton.

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The hand of peace you sent from Israelhangs on my wall like an ironic testamentto the one quality we have never shared.I imagine you peering into that ancient vistaas if […]

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