Our New Year

Friday, January 14, 2011

I’ve cleaned off a space on my desk big enough to riff

on you twenty times. By which I mean I’m on the bus

back from Boston, thinking of your eyes and mouth and hands.

This poem, you may have noticed, has an I and a you. This poem

is the daughter we don’t have. She’s a curly-headed implicated

implicator. She’s American. She’ll be oddly happy up through

the age of ten, then suffer seven years of anger. Blame her mother;

blame her father. Emerge from flame knowing the different

music. American. This is our new year of learning urgency

and a kind of loose-headed, courageous heart. Some people think you

shouldn’t use “courageous” in a poem. But consider this:

Near the end of Ingrid Bergman’s life, she and her friend

Liv Ullman went to the movies. Fifteen minutes in, Ingrid leans

over and says, “I don’t have time for this,” then gets up and leaves.

This is all just to say, there’s a wild low singing under all these naps,

and from now on I’m telling the truth. From now on, I’m telling

some version of the truth.


  1. I really like the feel of this, Joanna - intimate and real and lovely.

  2. Thanks, Kimberly.

  3. Hey J, yes it has texture and gives me... feelings.


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