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More poems by Eavan BolandEavan Boland | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Eavan BolandBooks by Eavan Boland

The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me

Eavan Boland

It was the first gift he ever gave her,
buying it for five five francs in the Galeries
in pre-war Paris. It was stifling.
A starless drought made the nights stormy.

They stayed in the city for the summer.
The met in cafes. She was always early.
He was late. That evening he was later.
They wrapped the fan. He looked at his watch.

She looked down the Boulevard des Capucines.
She ordered more coffee. She stood up.
The streets were emptying. The heat was killing.
She thought the distance smelled of rain and lightning.

These are wild roses, appliqued on silk by hand,
darkly picked, stitched boldly, quickly.
The rest is tortoiseshell and has the reticent clear patience 
	of its element. It is
a worn-out, underwater bullion and it keeps,
even now, an inference of its violation.
The lace is overcast as if the weather 
it opened for and offset had entered it.

The past is an empty cafe terrace.
An airless dusk before thunder. A man running.
And no way to know what happened then—
none at all—unless ,of course, you improvise:

The blackbird on this first sultry morning,
in summer, finding buds, worms, fruit,
feels the heat. Suddenly she puts out her wing—
the whole, full, flirtatious span of it.


Submitted by Kristina

Added: 14 Apr 2003 | Last Read: 24 Sep 2018 12:56 PM | Viewed: 12368 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/8974/ | Viewed on 24 September 2018.
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