Friday, 5 January 2018

To Nora: On Her Active Dying

by Jane Yolen


This is such a Barrett Browning
correspondence, and you without your dog.
I wish I could spring you but the fjords
have you in their icy grip
in this Norway of your years.
Why God cannot keep the kind,
the brilliant, the dear ones
in their right and righteous places
is the greatest mystery.
Why should He have your company
and not us who need it more?
When my husband went, staring at the wall
as if it were a door into the universe
of names, I swore at every
standing man I met on the road
who was not him. I expect
I will do the same for all
the particular, small women
I meet in the days ahead,
saying in my brain,
but you are not Nora, nor
will you ever be again.


* * * * *


Jane Yolen is the author of 360+ books (actual number) including 8 books of adult poetry. Much of her work is for young readers, but she has a number of novels, essay collections, and pedagogical books for adult as well. www.janeyolen.com