Old Mama Saturday

By Marie Ponsot b. 1921 Marie Ponsot

“Saturday’s child must work for a living.”

“I’m moving from Grief  Street.
Taxes are high here
though the mortgage’s cheap.

The house is well built.
With stuff to protect, that
mattered to me,
the security.

These things that I mind,
you know, aren’t mine.
I mind minding them.
They weigh on my mind.

I don’t mind them well.
I haven’t got the knack
of  kindly minding.
I say Take them back
but you never do.

When I throw them out
it may frighten you
and maybe me too.

                 Maybe
it will empty me
too emptily

and keep me here
asleep, at sea
under the guilt quilt,
under the you tree.”

From Springing: New and Selected Poems by Marie Ponsot, copyright © 2002 by Marie Ponsot. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Any third party use of this material, outside of this publication, is prohibited. Interested parties must apply directly to Random House, Inc. for permission.

Source: Poetry (May 2013).

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This poem originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2013
 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 Living, Disappointment & Failure, Life Choices, Social Commentaries, Class

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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