APRIL IS POETRY MONTH: 'String of Pearls' by Mary Jo Salter

APRIL IS POETRY MONTH: 'String of Pearls' by Mary Jo Salter

From Mary Jo Salter's Nothing by Design, a book in which the search for peace and understanding - both personal and public - is bracing, sometimes sobering, yet essentially uplifting because the journey toward truth is an expansion made possible by the poems themselves.

String of Pearls
The pearls my mother gave me as a bride
rotted inside.
Well, not the pearls, but the string.
One day I was putting
them on, about thirty years on,
and they rattled onto the floor, one by one . . .
I'm still not sure I found them all.
As it happened, I kept a white seashell
on my vanity table. It could serve as a cup
where, after I'd scooped the lost pearls up,
I'd save them, a many-sister 
haven in one oyster.
A female's born with all her eggs,
unfolds her legs,
then does her dance, is lovely, is the past -
is old news as the last
crinkle-foil-wrapped sweet
in the grass of the Easter basket.
True? Who was I? Had I unfairly classed
myself as a has-been? In the cloister
of the ovary, when
released by an extra dose of estrogen,
my chances for love dwindled, one by one.
But am I done?

To share the poem-a-day experience with friends, pass along this link >> 

Excerpt from Nothing By Design © 2013 by Mary Jo Salter. Excerpted by permission Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, LLC, New York.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Comments powered by Disqus