Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Unbidden

The ghosts swarm.
They speak as one
person. Each
loves you. Each
has left something
undone.

          •

Did the palo verde
blush yellow
all at once?

Today's edges
are so sharp

they might cut
anything that moved.

          •

The way a lost 
word

will come back
unbidden.

You're not interested
in it now,

only
in knowing
where it's been.

Credit


Rae Armantrout, "Unbidden" from Versed. Copyright © 2009 by Rae Armantrout. Used by permission of Wesleyan University Press. All rights reserved.

Author


Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout was born in Vallejo, California, in 1947, and was part of the first generation of Language poets on the West Coast. She is the author of Partly: New and Selected Poems, 2001–2015 (Wesleyan University Press, 2016); Itself (Wesleyan University Press, 2015).

Date Published: 2009-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/unbidden