Apiary viii (For the ones

By Carol Frost b. 1948 Carol Frost
who line the corridors and sit
silent in wheelchairs
before the television with the volume off,
whose cares
are small and gray and infinite,
time as ever to be faced    ...
Methuselahs the nurses wash
and dress without haste —
none needed    ...
this one has drunk from the poppy-cup
and drowses in her world of  dream    ...
carnations, wakeful violets, and lilies in vases —
masses of  flowers — wrap
the urine-and-antiseptic air in lace    ...
Please wake up; it is morning;
robins whistle; the bees dance.
Isn't this other one listening
from her shell of  silence,
and shouldn't she smile at the green return
and dappled light through windows?
As earth orbits the corridor
clocks are wound    ...
The last hour is a song or wound    ...
Except in this corridor — mother's —
where finity's brainless wind
blows ash, and ash again
blows through their cells:
So much silence, so little to say in the end.)

Source: Poetry (October 2007).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2007
 Carol  Frost


Carol Frost was born in 1948 in Lowell, Massachusetts. She studied at the Sorbonne and earned degrees from the State University of Oneonta and Syracuse University. The author of numerous collections of poetry, including Entwined: Three Lyric Sequences (2014), Honeycomb: Poems (2010), The Queen’s Desertion (2006), I Will Say Beauty (2003), Love and Scorn: New and Selected Poems (2000), and the chapbook The Salt Lesson (1976), she . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Growing Old, Time & Brevity

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Allusion, Imagery

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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