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Margaret Atwood Poems

Margaret Atwood Poems

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Published by jovesiddique

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Published by: jovesiddique on Feb 15, 2010
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08/14/2013

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Is/Not
 
Love is not a professiongenteel or otherwisesex is not dentistrythe slick filling of aches and cavitiesyou are not my doctor you are not my cure,nobody has thatpower, you are merely a fellow/traveller Give up this medical concern,buttoned, attentive,permit yourself anger and permit me minewhich needs neither your approval nor your suprisewhich does not need to be made legalwhich is not against a diseasebut agaist you,which does not need to be understoodor washed or cauterized,which needs insteadto be said and said.Permit me the present tense.
Night Poem
 
There is nothing to be afraid of,it is only the windchanging to the east, it is onlyyour father the thunder your mother the rainIn this country of water with its beige moon damp as a mushroom,its drowned stumps and long birds
 
that swim, where the moss growson all sides of the treesand your shadow is not your shadowbut your reflection,your true parents disappear when the curtain covers your door.We are the others,the ones from under the lakewho stand silently beside your bedwith our heads of darkness.We have come to cover youwith red wool,with our tears and distant whipers.You rock in the rain's armsthe chilly ark of your sleep,while we wait, your nightfather and mother with our cold hands and dead flashlight,knowing we are onlythe wavering shadows thrownby one candle, in this echoyou will hear twenty years later.
In the Secular Night
 
In the secular night you wander aroundalone in your house. It's two-thirty.Everyone has deserted you,or this is your story;you remember it from being sixteen,when the others were out somewhere, having a good time,or so you suspected,and you had to baby-sit.You took a large scoop of vanilla ice-creamand filled up the glass with grapejuiceand ginger ale, and put on Glenn Miller with his big-band sound,and lit a cigarette and blew the smoke up the chimney,and cried for a while because you were not dancing,and then danced, by yourself, your mouth circled with purple.Now, forty years later, things have changed,and it's baby lima beans.
 
It's necessary to reserve a secret vice.This is what comes from forgetting to eatat the stated mealtimes. You simmer them carefully,drain, add cream and pepper,and amble up and down the stairs,scooping them up with your fingers right out of the bowl,talking to yourself out loud.You'd be surprised if you got an answer,but that part will come later.There is so much silence between the words,you say. You say, The sensed absenceof God and the sensed presenceamount to much the same thing,only in reverse.You say, I have too much white clothing.You start to hum.Several hundred years agothis could have been mysticismor heresy. It isn't now.Outside there are sirens.Someone's been run over.The century grinds on.
Siren Song
 
This is the one song everyonewould like to learn: the songthat is irresistible:the song that forces mento leap overboard in squadronseven though they see beached skullsthe song nobody knowsbecause anyone who had heard itis dead, and the others can’t remember.Shall I tell you the secretand if I do, will you get meout of this bird suit?I don’t enjoy it heresquatting on this islandlooking picturesque and mythicalwith these two feathery maniacs,

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