A Poem For Friday


“Pax Arcana” by Lucie Brock-Broido:

The Amish housemaid lived in one small room inside the lemon cookie jar
Of our mother’s mother’s pantry at the lake in Canada.
Her linens were chenille and bumpy, worn. Her only jewels were bobby pins.
After supper, after covering the crust of the rhubarb pie with a tea towel,
She retired early to her room. She took off her cotton cap.
She undid the hooks and eyes of her stiff black apron-dress,
Stood reading the chapter from the longsome blue-bound book.
Just as the light on the lake was dimming, at the end of days,
She snuffed out her one late wicker-shaded lamp, and lit (with a curiously
Long-reaching safety match) the waxing crescent-moon above the provinces.
She folded her floury hands beneath her head
And went to her knees by the doll-sized bed.

(From Stay, Illusion © 2013 by Lucie Brock-Broido. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Photo by Oleg Sidorenko)