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"The Dreadful Has Already Happened" Analysis

Author: Poetry of Mark Strand Type: Poetry Views: 120

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The relatives are leaning over, staring expectantly.

They moisten their lips with their tongues. I can feel

them urging me on. I hold the baby in the air.

Heaps of broken bottles glitter in the sun.A small band is playing old fashioned marches.

My mother is keeping time by stamping her foot.

My father is kissing a woman who keeps waving

to somebody else. There are palm trees.The hills are spotted with orange flamboyants and tall

billowy clouds move beyond them. "Go on, Boy,"

I hear somebody say, "Go on."

I keep wondering if it will rain.The sky darkens. There is thunder.

"Break his legs," says one of my aunts,

"Now give him a kiss." I do what I'm told.

The trees bend in the bleak tropical wind.The baby did not scream, but I remember that sigh

when I reached inside for his tiny lungs and shook them

out in the air for the flies. The relatives cheered.

It was about that time I gave up.Now, when I answer the phone, his lips

are in the receiver; when I sleep, his hair is gathered

around a familiar face on the pillow; wherever I search

I find his feet. He is what is left of my life.


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