I married you for all the wrong reasons, charmed by your dangerous family history, by the innocent muscles, bulging like hidden weapons under your shirt, by your naive ties, the colors of painted scraps of sunset. I was charmed too by your assumptions about me: my serenity— that mirror waiting to be cracked, my flashy acrobatics with knives in the kitchen. How wrong we both were about each other, and how happy we have been.
Linda Pastan - 1932-
For Jews, the Cossacks are always coming. Therefore I think the sun spot on my arm is melanoma. Therefore I celebrate New Year's Eve by counting my annual dead. My mother, when she was dying, spoke to her visitors of books and travel, displaying serenity as a form of manners, though I could tell the difference. But when I watched you planning for a life you knew you'd never have, I couldn't explain your genuine smile in the face of disaster. Was it denial laced with acceptance? Or was it generations of being English-- Brontë's Lucy in Villette living as if no fire raged beneath her dun-colored dress. I want to live the way you did, preparing for next year's famine with wine and music as if it were a ten-course banquet. But listen: those are hoofbeats on the frosty autumn air.