Saturday, December 27, 2008

Such a paradox is this conundrum

August, 16,1974, after reading the introduction to In Search of Origins: The Experiences of Adopted (1973, London) people by by John Triseliotis.

I think:
How is she? And the introduction
the more adjusted
and happy
the less
she needs me.
Even in my ethereal form
of the void of the present silence
I want
that she be happy.
(however she perceives such).
O God
please I beg on the crusts of my soul
that she is searching
and curious.
funny--such a paradox
as is this conundrum.

1 comment :

Mairaine said...

Here is a poem I wrote in 1976, same era.


For My Grandmother Annie

I found my past today
stored in drawers
births, deaths, marriages
beginning, end, and life between

"Mary Golba entered into eternal life
on January 5, 1975"
Peter, seventh child of John Manning
and Annie Devlin (the best of the lot,
she said) was born, like all the others
at home.

Wills and deeds and policies, official papers
with seals, and Mass cards with different names,
gilded angels and saints and the same prayer
on the other side... "Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and may perpetual light shine..." May perpetual
unending unbending enveloping light
illuminate your long road, reveal my shame, make merciful
the guardians
of papers

"Whereas I, Mary Anne Manning, am unable to properly
support, educate, care for said child..."
whereas I am unable to say No
"I hearby sign, consent, surrender ..." (Don’t shoot-I have
thrown out my weapons, have cut off my hands...)

I hearby sign, consent, surrender, "desire that this document
be accepted by all persons as expressing my
irrevocable intention..." irreversible sentence--eternal rest grant
unto them that seal their own doom, a child crying, seven years
I am burning.....

May perpetual light shine on them
who did not change your name
your name I gave
your own--I did not know

Anne Devlin Manning
beloved mother of John , Harry, Hugh, Francis, Mary, Anne, Peter
Wife of John
Died January 8 1943 secure
in the hope of heaven, believing
the child she named Michael, who died,
as the children of the poor have always died,
Was waiting.

Mary Anne born January 7
after the War
named for her grandmothers
named her son Michael
and gave him away
Does Annie know ?

I signed without reading, or read
without memory, without hope--No reprieve...
I wore a dark dress my hair pinned back
death in my eyes--Court of the damned--across from me
an old woman,Puerto Rican, worn, beautiful--I see every line
in her face, every move, I have died, I surrender...

Seven years--I had forgotten
The Papers.

Peter, son of Anne and John, husband of Eleanor
father of Mary Anne and Peter
brother of long-dead unspoken Michael
grandfather of Michael soon to be lost
between the ghosts of shame and sorrow

Who never raised his voice who never
showed his soul
stands in silence, stands in tears
as I sign, consent, surrender
the only time I saw him cry...

Eternal rest, eternal silence, Why
did no one speak their mind ?

Michael--child of silence, child of grief
and love--Annie’s certain heaven
does not wait for me
They said they kept your name, and the faith
I left, the faith of Annie, who prayed
for her lost son, her Michael...

Eternity is a long road, and I don’t know
how many times, with how many faces
you’ve tried to reach your home

Just reach enough for one more try,
seven years, four times seven
until you reach my door
Your past, your pain, your deliverance
lie with mine, my baby lost

locked in Papers
stored in drawers