Amherst Ballad 6

Sharon Olds

The air - was Close - the Pane - slid High - 
The Sill Imbued with Dust - Gave Up 
A Maple Wing - of Brussels Lace - 
A Tachnid or a Horse - Fly - 

A blue - Half Shell - of Tree Nut Style - 
Crissed with Gold - Vermicule Paths 
Inside - and a Common Bottle Fly - 
Perhaps Descended from the One who Buzzed when you Died. 

My Feet will Enter - your Room - Soon - 
My Body - Looming - Over Them. 
I thought, at 15, that you would not like me, 
Too tall too fat too dumb too ugly - 

But now I have a Troupe - Motel 
Wing - and Shell - Motel Flies 
To whom I feel equal in the Old God’s Eyes. 
My Mother - Never - stayed in a Motel - 

So I revel in - each Motor Hotel 
As if I have a right to be Here. 
Your singing called me here - it should have been 
Evie, or Louise, or Bren, here - 

But it is I, your humble Leige - 
Hunter, Diana, Siren, Heretic - 
Sister to Barbaric Yawp, 
Descendant Girl - of Awkward Yawl - 

Down to Earth, down to Sea. 
If they couldn’t Catch you 
Maybe they can’t - 
Catch - me