Missing Persons

By Rae Armantrout b. 1947 Rae Armantrout
God and Mother
went the same way.

          *       *       *

What's a person to us
but a contortion
of pressure ridges
long after she is gone?

          *       *       *

A thin old man in blue jeans,
back arched, grimaces
at the freezer compartment.

          *       *       *

Lying in the tub,
I'm telling them—

the missing persons—

that a discrepancy
is a pea

and I am a Princess.

Source: Poetry (June 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2008
 Rae  Armantrout


Rae Armantrout, one of the founding members of the West Coast group of Language poets, stands apart from other Language poets in her lyrical voice and her commitment to the interior and the domestic. Her short-lined poems are often concerned with dismantling conventions of memory, pop culture, science, and mothering, and these unsparing interrogations are often streaked with wit. “You can hold the various elements of my poems in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Social Commentaries


SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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