Running Away Together

By Maxine W. Kumin 1925–2014
It will be an island on strings   
well out to sea and austere   
bobbing as if at anchor
green with enormous fir trees   
formal as telephone poles.

We will arrive there slowly
hand over hand without oars.   
Last out, you will snip the fragile   
umbilicus white as a beansprout   
that sewed us into our diaries.

We will be two bleached hermits   
at home in our patches and tears.
We will butter the sun with our wisdom.   
Our days will be grapes on a trellis   
perfectly oval and furred.

At night we will set our poems   
adrift in ginger ale bottles   
each with a clamshell rudder   
each with a piggyback spider   
waving them off by dogstar

and nothing will come from the mainland   
to tell us who cares, who cares
and nothing will come of our lovelock   
except as our two hearts go soft
and black as avocado pears.

Maxine Kumin, “Running Away Together” from House Bridge Fountain Gate (New York: Viking Press, 1975). Copyright © 1975 by Maxine Kumin. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Source: House Bridge Fountain Gate (Viking Press, 1975)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Maxine W. Kumin 1925–2014

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Marriage & Companionship, Trees & Flowers, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Travels & Journeys, Living, Activities, Nature

Occasions Anniversary

 Maxine W. Kumin

Biography

An enduring presence in American poetry, Maxine Kumin’s career spanned over half a century. She was the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award. She was the poetry consultant for the Library of Congress in 1981-1982, and taught at many of the country’s most prestigious universities, including MIT, Princeton, and . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Marriage & Companionship, Trees & Flowers, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Travels & Journeys, Living, Activities, Nature

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.