Sunday, March 27, 2011

Poets To Put to Memory: Ruth Fainlight

Ruth Fainlight poetry takes time to read. She reworks the words sometimes for years. Her writing is lyrical and longing.

On my right hand since then
 I’ve always worn the ring
my father and I chose
as my twenty-first birthday present.
On my left hand, these months
since her death. my mother’s ring:
the engagement ring he bought her
half a century ago,
and gave to me, after the funeral.
I spread my hands on the desk.
Prominent tendons and veins
on the back, like hers;
red worn skin of the palm
that chaps and breaks
so easily, inherited
from my father. Even without
the rings, the flesh of my hands
is their memorial.
No need for anything
more formal. Not gold
 nor platinum and precious stones
can serve as well
as these two orphaned hands."
Ruth Fainlight

The hands which do not bear her parent's wedding bands, they are the genetic following of her beloved Mother and Father. Ruth gets to the center of grief, loss and carrying on.
In our fast paced world of u-tube and noise, take some time to memorize a few lines. I can feel the sound of the words when I recite Ruth's work to memory as I walk.
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