by Lucie Brock-Broido
At the Museum of Modern Art, she had to quit the shadow box
Of Kafka’s ruin of a life; she couldn’t stand the gob
Of bug emerging green beneath the metal bed.
As a child, she would never open the closet door alone
Again to choose which dirndl skirt to wear to school.
A conference of seagulls would surely now be hooked
On every wire hanger mimicking the hooded crows amassed
In Hitchcock’s one-room-schoolhouse yard in 1962.
Now the Eskimos are frightened at the robins in their weirdly warming
Village because their language has no word for robin, not quite yet.
A cough (small as Keats’s before his brother even knew) set in.
Quit this crying out from fear in sleep; it isn’t merciful.
Stop making such a racket in your wooden shoes
As you go up and down the master stairs.
To read more poems by Lucie Brock-Broido, subscribe to the print edition of Parnassus, Volume 33.