The Room Is as We Left It

The room is as we left it
But mellowed to a heightened
Dignity.
The chairs
Have summer coverings
Of cobwebs,
The teakwood lamps are there,
And still the bed sags
To the center,
And the table throws
Its weight of shadow
On the spread . . . .
. . . Folly to have left the room unused:
You did not merit such a nicety . . . .

A ragged ache of light
Sifts through the dust:
Blotches
A grotesque of the present
Upon the patterns of the past . . .
My hands are bruised by surfaces
I do not see,
My fingers falter up and down
A tracery of years,
I sense the echo of a voice
I do not hear,
I am not sure the breath I hold
Is mine.
 

More by Marion Strobel

Collectors

The barnacle of crowds—
Like a tuck
On a finished skirt, unnoticed—
He collected his material
Covertly:
A ragpicker,
A scavenger of words.

And the gleanings
Of his hearing
He would costume
In his own words,
And parade before
A listener.

So that now,
Across the tea-cup,
He was telling
Of his research,
Of his study,
Of his deep thought-out
Conclusions.

And the lady,
Connoisseur of old thoughts
Bound in new gilt bindings,
Smiled approval
At the finding
Of another curio
To place
In her long gallery.
 

Spring Morning

O day—if I could cup my hands and drink of you,
And make this shining wonder be
A part of me!
O day! O day!
You lift and sway your colors on the sky
Till I am crushed with beauty. Why is there
More of reeling sunlit air
Than I can breathe? Why is there sound
In silence? Why is a singing wound
About each hour?
And perfume when there is no flower?
O day! O Day! How may I press
Nearer to loveliness?

Related Poems

A Visit to the Asylum

Once from a big, big building,
When I was small, small,
The queer folk in the windows
Would smile at me and call.
       And in the hard wee gardens
Such pleasant men would hoe:
“Sir, may we touch the little girl’s hair!”—
It was so red, you know.
       They cut me coloured asters
With shears so sharp and neat,
They brought me grapes and plums and pears
And pretty cakes to eat.
       And out of all the windows,
No matter where we went,
The merriest eyes would follow me
And make me compliment.
       There were a thousand windows,
All latticed up and down.
And up to all the windows,
When we went back to town,
       The queer folk put their faces,
As gentle as could be;
“Come again, little girl!” they called, and I
Called back, “You come see me!”