13 July 2007

Rosanna Warren

[from Rosanna Warren's Stained Glass, 1993]

Child Model
     for Rosalie Carlson
     (Greenland Eskimo mummy, boy, four years old,
     National Geographic, February 1985)

I want to adopt you, doll-like child,
your death, your National
Geographic
resurrection. Cold

has clasped you in its cache, all
gaze, all shimmer. Arctic star,
cuddled in sealskin grave-creche, still

you wait there for your mother,
trusting she'll trudge back through the snow,
famine, centuries: lift you from this glamour,

snatch you, full-limbed, laughing home. But now
in these pages, trapped, you touch
for comfort tiny beads of bone. We know

nothing of you save that such
patient beauty, still unputrefied,
was never seen in death. We clutch

you, ancient child: we need
to think you're saved, as if one face unmarred
in Kodachrome rescued all others who have died

ugly, bruised, disqualified.

Stained Glass: Poems

2 comments:

  1. adding her to my never-ending list of poets to read

    ReplyDelete
  2. also take a look at the recent issue of Ploughshares that she guest-edited

    ReplyDelete