Sunday, May 8, 2022

For Mother's Day: a Poem by Margaret Atwood


Girl and Horse 1928


You are younger than I am, you are

someone I never knew, you stand

under a tree, your face half-shadowed,

holding the horse by its bridle

Why do you smile? Can't you

see the apple blossoms falling around

you, snow, sun, snow, listen, the tree

dries and is being burnt, the wind

is bending, your body, your face

ripples like the water where did you go

But no, you stand there exactly

the same, you can't hear me forty

years ago, you were caught by light

and fixed in that secret

place where we live, where we believe

nothing can change, grow older.


(On the other side of the picture,

the instant is over, the shadow

of the tree has moved.

You wave

then turn and ride out of sight

through the vanished orchard,

still smiling

as though you did not notice)



Margaret Atwood


(photo is of my mother,  Florence Greene,  in 1927, at Griffiths Park in Los Angeles, Calif.)

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