I donít feel it
donít feel it
rub myself with a towel
pinch myself in the arm
I look at myself in the mirror
also pricks herself
begin to get dressed
like lightning bolts
teeth shoot forth
I feel nothing
wander through the streets:
with dirty faces
me for charity
are not yet fifteen
streets are paved with pain
I feel my arm
am no longer a phantom
return to watch the scene:
time it hurts me less
pinch myself again
already I feel nothing
happens at my side
are the shouts
am a blank mirror
became a mirror
I am fleshless
my finger and my thumb
squat pen rests; snug as a gun.
my window, a clean rasping sound
the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
father, digging. I look down
his straining rump among the flowerbeds
low, comes up twenty years away
in rhythm through potato drills
he was digging.
coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
the inside knee was levered firmly.
rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
scatter new potatoes that we picked
their cool hardness in our hands.
God, the old man could handle a spade.
like his old man.
grandfather cut more turf in a day.
any other man on Tonerís bog.
I carried him milk in a bottle
sloppily with paper. He straightened up
drink it, then fell to right away
and slicing neatly, heaving sods
his shoulder, going down and down
the good turf. Digging.
cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
living roots awaken in my head.
Iíve no spade to follow men like them.
my finger and thumb
squat pen rests.
dig with it.
In the Spring and the Fall
In the spring of the year, in the spring of the year, I walked the road beside my dear. The trees were black where the bark was wet. I see them yet, in the spring of the year. He broke me a bough of the blossoming peach That was out of the way and hard to reach.
In the fall of the year, in the fall of the year, I walked the road beside my dear. The rooks went up with a raucous trill. I hear them still, in the fall of the year. He laughed at all I dared to praise, And broke my heart, in little ways. Year be springing or year be falling, The bark will drip and the birds be calling. There's much that's fine to see and hear In the spring of a year, in the fall of a year. 'Tis not love's going hurt my days. But that it went in little ways.
by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)