wounds

Power

Livingin the earth-deposits of our history

Today a backhoe divulged out of a crumbling flank of earth
one bottle amber perfect a hundred-year-old
cure for feveror melancholy a tonic
for living on this earthin the winters of this climate

Today I was reading about Marie Curie:
she must have known she sufferedfrom radiation sickness
her body bombarded for years by the element
she had purified
It seems she denied to the end
the source of the cataracts on her eyes
the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends
till she could no longer hold a test-tube or a pencil

She died a famous womandenying
her wounds
denying
her woundscamefrom the same source as her power.

Adrenne Rich
from The Dream of a Common Language

One thought on “wounds

  1. practical tip for those of you posting poetry (just discovered):

    to get long spaces, use multiple full stops… then select them and change the font colour to white. Voilà — a gap in the line.

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