Nancy Jane

By Charles Simic b. 1938 Charles Simic
Grandma laughing on her deathbed.
Eternity, the quiet one, listening in.

Like moths around an oil lamp we were.
Like ragdolls tucked away in the attic.

In walked a cat with a mouthful of feathers.
(How about that?)

A dark little country store full of gravedigger’s   
     children buying candy.
(That’s how we looked that night.)

The young men pumping gas spoke of his friends:
    the clouds.
It was such a sad story, it made everyone laugh.

A bird called out of a tree, but received no answer.

The beauty of that last moment
Like a red sail on the bay at sunset,

Or like a wheel breaking off a car
And roaming the world on its own.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2009).

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This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2009
 Charles  Simic

Biography

Charles Simic is widely recognized as one of the most visceral and unique poets writing today. Simic’s work has won numerous awards, among them the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, the MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” the Griffin International Poetry Prize, and, simultaneously, the Wallace Stevens Award and appointment as U.S. Poet Laureate. He taught English and creative writing for over thirty years at the University of New Hampshire. . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Relationships, Home Life, Family & Ancestors

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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