By Andrea Hollander b. 1947 Andrea Hollander
They decide finally not to speak
of it, the one blemish in their otherwise
blameless marriage. It happened
as these things do, before the permanence
was set, before the children grew
complicated, before the quench
of loving one another became all
each of them wanted from this life.
Years later the bite
of not knowing (and not wanting
to know) still pierces the doer
as much as the one to whom it was done:
the threadbare lying, the insufferable longing,
the inimitable lack of touching, the undoing

Poem copyright ©2009 by Andrea Hollander Budy, whose most recent book of poems is Woman in the Painting, Autumn House, 2006. Poem reprinted from Shenandoah, Vol. 59, no. 1, by permission of Andrea Hollander Budy and the publisher.

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Poet Andrea Hollander b. 1947

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Living, Marriage & Companionship, Disappointment & Failure, Relationships, Men & Women

 Andrea  Hollander


Andrea Hollander was born in Berlin, Germany, to American parents and raised in the United States. She earned a BS in English and education from Boston University and an MA in comparative literature and oral interpretation from the University of Colorado. Her poetry collections include the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize–winning House without a Dreamer (1993), The Other Life (2001), Woman in the Painting (2006), and Landscape with . . .

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Poems by Andrea Hollander

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Marriage & Companionship, Disappointment & Failure, Relationships, Men & Women

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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