Poetry Month: For an Album (Rich)

For an Album

Our story isn’t a file of photographs
faces laughing under green leaves
or snowlit doorways, on the verge of driving
away, our story is not about women
victoriously perched on the one
sunny day of the conference,
not lovers displaying love:

Our story is of moments
when even slow motion moved too fast
for the shutter of the camera:
words that blew our lives apart, like so,
eyes that cut and caught each other,
mime of the operating room
where gas and knives quote each other
moments before the telephone
starts ringing: our story is
how still we stood,
how fast.

– Adrienne Rich, from Time’s Power, 1985-1988 in The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry

Rich died at the end of March 2012. Poets.org has a bio and some selected poems, and The New York Times obituary is also worth checking out.

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