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Tonight We Bow

ISSUE:  Summer 1993
Not to worry about writing too much
Copy, being too busy, or lacklove
In what strikes us as winning ugly

In the late 1980’s. . . . Children now,
More life to be paid for: Virginia
Moving tonight some turns she learned

In the first grade, all of us turning
Still in the first grade, dancing tonight
The seven love songs of Hawaii, lovely

Absurd twistings we move with now after
Exhaustion, exhaustion come over us now
As if exhaustion was all we had to move with.

Liam Rector


There was a time her door was never closed.
Her music box played “Fur Elise” in plinks.
Her crib new-bought-I drew her sleeping there.

The little drawing sits beside my chair.
These days, she ornaments her hands with rings.
She’s seventeen. Her door is one I knock.

There was a time I daily brushed her hair
By windowlight-I bathed her, in the sink
In sunny water, in the kitchen, there.

I’ve bought her several thousand things to wear,
And now this boy buys her silver rings.
He goes inside her room and shuts the door.

Those days, to rock her was to say a prayer.
She’d gaze at me, and blink, and I would sing
Of bees and horses, in the pasture, there.

The drawing sits as still as nap-time air-
Her curled-up hand-that precious line, her cheek. . . .
Next year her door will stand, again, ajar
But she herself will not be living there.


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