In the Shade


Were it up to me, this would be a Friday assignment, but since it's not, we'll put a little Friday night in our Monday morning. Here in Ohio, it's kind of overcast, so I'm going to pretend it's evening and I have just made my five o'clock cocktail: The Shady Lady and am about to sit down for some twilight poetry.  Other ways to get into the shadows with good food and great writing might be to bake a black forest cake and while listening to Cake.


‘What does a certain woman know of the hour of her death?’ - Mandelstam
Tallest, suavest of us, why Memory,
forcing you to appear from the past, pass
down a train, swaying, to find me
clear profiled through the window-glass?
Angel or bird? How we debated!
The poet thought you like translucent straw.
Through dark lashes, your eyes, Georgian,
looking, with gentleness, on it all.
Shade, forgive. Blue skies, Flaubert,
Insomnia, late-blooming lilac flower,
bring you, and the magnificence of the year,
nineteen-thirteen, to mind, and your
unclouded temperate afternoon, memory
difficult for me now – Oh, shade! 

Anna Akhmatova