Tuesday, August 26, 2008
This is what it is: up until now, it was all before. Up until now, it was all a turning point, a very slow, slow turn. Up until now, I could have turned back, could have called up the offices of Florida State or Emerson or Bennington and said, No, wait, I was wrong! Or called my principal of last year and begged her to consider my return, to find a wiggle in the budget for me. As of today, the decision will be final. Never mind I signed two contracts--one accepting the offer of admission and the other as a graduate instructor. Never mind people have filled in those empty places I left behind when I declined. In my fantasy world, I could have chosen the other doors, kept my safety net instead of casting it away. Up until today.
I leave you, this ninety ninth post before I am out the door for orienting, this post-on-the-cusp with a poem that has recently drawn my eye. It seems only fitting:
The Shoulders of Women
by Molly Peacock
The shoulders of women are shallow, narrow,
and thin compared to the shoulders of men,
surprisingly thin, like the young pharaohs
whose shoulders in stick figures are written
on stones, or bony as the short gold wings
of cranes on oriental screens. Lord, how
surprising to embrace the shortened stirrings
of many bones in their sockets above breasts! Now
what I expect, since I've long embraced men,
is the flesh of the shoulder and the cave
of the chest and I get neither--we're so small.
Unwittingly frail and unknowing and brave
like cranes and young kings, the shoulders of women
turn to surprise and surprise me again with all
their gestures of renewal and recall.