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Home After Three Months Away Analysis

Author: poem of Robert Lowell Type: poem Views: 9

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Gone now the baby's nurse,

a lioness who ruled the roost

and made the Mother cry.

She used to tie

gobbets of porkrind to bowknots of gauze—

three months they hung like soggy toast

on our eight foot magnolia tree,

and helped the English sparrows

weather a Boston winter.

Three months, three months!

Is Richard now himself again?

Dimpled with exaltation,

my daughter holds her levee in the tub.

Our noses rub,

each of us pats a stringy lock of hair—

they tell me nothing's gone.

Though I am forty-one,

not fourty now, the time I put away

was child's play. After thirteen weeks

my child still dabs her cheeks

to start me shaving. When

we dress her in her sky-blue corduroy,

she changes to a boy,

and floats my shaving brush

and washcloth in the flush...

Dearest I cannot loiter here

in lather like a polar bear.

Recuperating, I neither spin nor toil.

Three stories down below,

a choreman tends our coffin length of soil,

and seven horizontal tulips blow.

Just twelve months ago,

these flowers were pedigreed

imported Dutchmen, now no one need

distunguish them from weed.

Bushed by the late spring snow,

they cannot meet

another year's snowballing enervation.

I keep no rank nor station.

Cured, I am frizzled, stale and small."

Submitted by Peter Carter


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