She hid them under simple names.

September 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

from ‘It Must Give Pleasure’ (part V), by Wallace Stevens

She lived in her house. She had two daughters, one
Of four, and one of seven, whom she dressed
The way a painter of pauvred colour paints.

But still she painted them, appropriate to
Their poverty, a grey-blue yellowed out
With ribbon, a rigid statement of them, white,

With Sunday pearls, her widow’s gaiety.
She hid them under simple names. She held
Them closer to her by rejecting dreams.

The words they spoke were voices that she heard.
She looked at them and saw them as they were
And what she felt fought off the barest phrase.

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