Post election Poetry- Reminiscence Forward by Martha Silano

I love this poem by Martha Silano

I think it speaks to post election feelings.   Everyone is a little bit more aware of what they have "won" and what they have "lost." And so if you are a person who is feeling like the elections leave you with "nothing" or with "something" I think that this poem plays beutifully with the idea that sometiems when we feel empty or that we have nothing- we still have so much.


We were starving. We had nothing.

But we had bread.

There was nothing to eat.

But there were plenty of tomatoes.

We put the tomatoes on the bread.

We had nothing. But we had garlic.

We would put garlic on the tomatoes and bread.

We were starving, we put olive oil

on garlic, tomatoes and bread.

There were plenty of tomatoes,

and we at them on the hillsides

with garlic and oil and bread.

We were starving. We had nothing.

But we had a cup.

The cup was white inside.

Pink outside.

The pink was a vine of roses.

There was nothing.

There was white. And pink.

And there were leaves.

The leaves were gold paint

in pink roses outside

the white cup. Oh, we had nothing.

The white in the cup, and the pink,

and the gold leaves.

It was empty. There was nothing.

But we had a window.

There were some lines

outside the window, and they were made of wood.

The lines were rails outside the window,

and there were stairs down

that led to fences, and on the fencetops

cats walked with their tails,

passing back and forth.

We were starving. There was nothing.

Railings, a window, steps, a view of fencetops.

Truly we had nothing. Empty, starving, cold.

There was a pond.

We had nothing, truly.

The pond was small.

There might have been something.

But it was small and dark.

We couldn’t see, but there were grasses

at the edge: we saw them move,

the water darken.

We had nothing, were so close

to nothing. From our railings,

over our fencetops, while we held

our cup, and at our oil and bread,

we looked into the point.

We couldn’t see, we had nothing, but it seemed

the blue pond was a thought

that could undo itself

and swim away.

We couldn’t see. We were starving.

There was nothing. it was empty

It was oil and bread.

It was white cup.

It was railings and fencetops.

It was bluer and bluer.


From blue Positive by Martha Silano 2006 Steel Toe Books, Bowling Green, KY.


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