Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!


She wanted a little room for thinking:
but she saw diapers steaming
on the line,

A doll slumped behind the door.
So she lugged a chair behind
the garage to sit out the
children's naps

Sometimes there were things to watch--
the pinched armor of a vanished cricket,
a floating maple leaf.

Other days she stared until she
was assured when she closed
her eyes she'd only see her own
vivid blood.

She had an hour, at best,
before Liza appeared pouting from
the top of the stairs.

And just what was mother doing
out back with the field mice?
Why, building a palace.

Later that night when Thomas
rolled over and lurched into her,

She would open her eyes
and think of the place that was hers
for an hour--where she was nothing,
pure nothing, in the middle of the day

Written by Rita Dove


Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge