The Door

Found a wonderful collection of poems by Margaret Atwood called, The Door. Here are two of the most beautiful. Click the link below them to order the full collection.

Heart
Some people sell their blood. You sell your heart.
It was either that or the soul.
The hard part is getting the damn thing out.

A kind of twisting motion, like sucking an oyster,
your spine a wrist,
and then, hup! it’s in your mouth.
You turn yourself partially inside out
like a sea anemone coughing a pebble.
There’s a broken plop, the racket
of fish guts into a pail,
and there it is, a huge glistening deep-red clot
of the still-alive past, whole on the plate.

It gets passed around. It’s slippery. It gets dropped,
but also tasted. Too coarse, says one. Too salty.
Too sour, says another, making a face.
Each one is an instant gourmet,
and you stand listening to all this
in the corner, like a newly hired waiter,
your diffident, skilful hand on the wound hidden
deep in your shirt and chest,
shyly, heartless.

Your Children Cut Their Hands
Your children cut their hands on glass
by reaching through the mirror
where the beloved one was hiding.

You weren’t expecting this:
you thought they wanted happiness,
not laceration.

You though the happiness
would appear simply, without effort
or any kind of work,

like a bird call
or a pathside flower
or a school of silvery fish

but now they’ve cut themselves
on love, and cry in secret,
and your own hands go numb

because there’s nothing you can do,
because you didn’t tell them not to
because you didn’t think
you needed to
and there’s all this broken glass
and your children stand red-handed

still clutching at moons and echoes
and emptiness and shadow,
the way you did

Click here to buy the full collection

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