Between

By Marie Ponsot b. 1921 Marie Ponsot

(for my daughter)

Composed in a shine of laughing, Monique brings in sacks
of groceries, unloads them, straightens, and stretches her back.

The child was a girl, the girl is a woman; the shift   
is subtle and absolute, worn like a gift.

The woman, once girl once child, now is deft in her ease,   
is door to the forum, is cutter of keys.

In space that her torque and lift have prefigured and set free   
between her mother and her child the woman stands   
having emptied her hands.

Marie Ponsot, “Between” from The Green Dark. Copyright © 1988 by Marie Ponsot. Reprinted with the permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Source: The Green Dark (Alfred A. Knopf, 1988)

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Poet Marie Ponsot b. 1921

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Time & Brevity, Living, Coming of Age, Parenthood

Poetic Terms Mixed, Couplet

 Marie  Ponsot

Biography

Born in New York, poet and translator Marie Ponsot is the daughter of a teacher and a wine importer and was raised Catholic, a faith she still observes. She earned a BA at St. Joseph’s College for Women in Brooklyn, New York, and an MA in 17th-century literature at Columbia University. On a ship to Paris after World War II, she met poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who later published Ponsot’s debut collection through . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Living, Coming of Age, Parenthood

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Mixed, Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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