First Things RSS Feed - Rachel Hadas
en-usCopyright 2016 First Things. All Rights Reserved.email@example.com (The Editors)firstname.lastname@example.org (The Editors)Sun, 23 Oct 2016 05:42:01 -0400https://d25wp47b6tla3u.cloudfront.net/img/favicon-196.pngFirst Things RSS Feed Image
Fri, 01 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0400M ellow and glowing with autumnal red
A nd also ochre striped with golden light,
R epainted bedroom with a brand new bed
L eft made up, crisp sheets awaiting night;
O ld layers overlaid with something fresh,
N ew, and sorting out, giving away,
C lear for a different union of flesh
A nd spirit, window to another day;
L ife turns its wheel of change. To think each wall
I nto another color, and to act,
L inking vision, patience, and skill,
O ver old patterns stroking one bold fact,
V ows renewed, dreams dreamed. This glowing room
E ncloses pure potential, like a womb.
Tue, 01 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0500Winter strains toward spring.
A bird is singing in a leafless tree.
The river gleams, the sidewalks glint with ice
or with a hint of possibility.
A blade of sun bisects the afternoon
street. In such a slippery spot I fell,
righted myself, stood up,
and found myself no longer in the winter
but in a city and a season slyly
disguised as ordinary, but transfigured.
The grime of dailiness was all rinsed clean.
In a leafless tree a bird was singing.
]]>There Are Books in the Househttps://www.firstthings.com/article/2015/12/there-are-books-in-the-house
Tue, 01 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0500For Gerd Stern
Thu, 01 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500
To land in a story whose end I do not know
as if we ever saw to any end:
I try to keep my balance, high and low.
]]>Blue, Red, Bluehttps://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/11/blue-red-blue
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 00:00:00 -0400 After two clashing daysultramarine
overlaid with vermilion
it came to me late the third afternoon
that as between
anger and grief there’s no comparison.
The choice is easy. Does one have a choice?
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0400 The elements were stark: a winter wall,
snow, ice, snapped wrist. Through the break
I could just glimpse the color of the bone.
But cold and white, the January crust,
weren’t the whole story. Seasons turn,
bones knit, a secret stirs beneath the snow.
I told myself
my cast, like winter, wouldn’t last forever.
But there was no way to envision this
country of velvet silence on the far
side of a gate I had unlatched in sleep.
A nameless angel’s finger to his lips:
unscaffolded by language, hold the thought?
Not thought, not word. Rather breath. A vow.
Sunlight this late August afternoon
tips its slow green syrup to the lawn.
Mercy so deep I never knew till now.
The break is mended. Here I am with you.
Sat, 01 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0500
Early light slants low across the lawn.
Cuplike, this little valley brims with sun.
Pages fill and empty. In the mist
of a still morning, nothing’s out of reach.
Decades fade, the past glides into range,
recoverable, a pristine cobweb caught
motionless in one slat of morning light.
You’re on your daily walk uphill and back.
Summer’s end balances autumn’s start.
One apple falls without a breath of wind,
but fruit past counting’s hidden in the tall
wet grass. Like this valley now, my heart
is full. I start to climb the hill toward you.
My soul flies out to greet you coming down.
]]>When the Wind Blowshttps://www.firstthings.com/article/2013/08/when-the-wind-blows
Thu, 01 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0400 I would have liked to linger in this room,
But a rough wind was blowing.
To wake up and go back to sleep beside you,
But dawn was showing.
Down on the river, a boat with a black sail.
I must be going.
]]>My Mother’s Smilehttps://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/12/my-mothers-smile
Sat, 01 Dec 2012 00:00:00 -0500 Her hair still hardly touched with grey, and wound
in gleaming braids around her head, my mother,
who in life was not so given to smiling,
grinned in last nights dream from ear to ear
the double meaning of archaic smiles:
I am alive and also I am dead.
A snapshot from the Fifties, black and white:
there stands my mother, sturdy, tan, and beaming,
each arm around a daughter. And all three
are squinting in the same morning sun
that lit that joyful smile that lit the dream.
]]>At the Recitalhttps://www.firstthings.com/article/2011/11/at-the-recital
Tue, 01 Nov 2011 00:00:00 -0400 Word trickled down the aisle that he had died.
My first response: how did they even know?
Grief was an afterthought. He’d long been gone;
had only just sufficiently revived
to totter to his feet and say hello
(or else goodbye)”impossibly removed,
frail, struggling to sit or stand or speak.
The rumor rippled down my little row,
but soon the audience at the recital
recomposed itself. The music closed
like water over a floundering swimmer’s head,
filling the lacuna in the chair,
braiding an order in attentive air,
cleansing us of the news that he was dead.