Not That Again, He Said

He had grown thinner.
Hirsute legs, and bony wrists.
How does he manage his life?
You’d tried asking a question,
and he’d muttered sulkily.

Is there something like
inoculation against maternal
showy feelings? It’s as if
life there is finished,
and one looks on as at
some pageant.

How does one feel except
likely self-approbation?
Oh, a son grown. The strenuous
physicality of it over; now
a reed thin air in which
you drew deep breaths.


Hey guys I’d just come to the end of a book and it’s like coming to the end of the road. In Alice Munro’s stories, typically you get a sense of a full life lived. The characters’ fates are intertwined, and really you get a sense of how their lives were by the persons whom they settle down with and the persons who had crossed their paths and then leave. And the strange twists of fate that meet some characters. You get a sense of poignancy when a partner dies, for instance, or when a daughter abandons a mother. Like all the props changed, know what I mean, and you become a different person almost. Transformation…that’s what life is about. So that’s what your poem’s about.


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