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Out of Eden by Marie Ponsot

August 28, 1988

Under the May rain over the dug grave my mother is given canticles and I who believe in everything watch flowers stiffen to new bloom. Behind us the rented car fabricates a cave. My mother nods: Is he? He is. But, is? Nods. Angels shoo witches from this American tomb. The nod teaches me. It is something I can save. He left days ago. We, so that we too may leave, install his old belongings in a bizarre new room. I want to kneel indignantly anywhere and rave. Well, God help us, now my father's will is God's. At games and naming he beat Adam. He loved his Eve. I knew him and his wicked tongue. What he had, he gave. I do not know where to go to do it, but I grieve. From "The Green Dark" (Alfred A. Knopf: $16.95; 70 pp.) Ponsot is the translator of 32 books, most of them children's books, from the French, and is the author of two earlier books of poems, "True Minds" (1975) and "Admit Impediment" (1981). She has received many awards, among them the Eunice Tietjens Prize from Poetry magazine. 1988, Marie Ponsot. Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf.

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