Methinks The Poor Town Has Been Troubled Too Long

Light on the brick wall and a north wind whipping the branches black.
Shadow draws the thread of the light out flat against its palm.
Eat your soup, Mother, wherever you are in your mind.
Winter noon is on the rise. Weak suns yet alive
are as virtue to suns of that other day.
For the poor town dreams
of surrender. Mother
never untender,
Mother gallant
and gay.

Anne Carson is author of Eros The Bittersweet (Princeton 1986) Plainwater (Knopf 1995) and Glass, Irony And God (New Directions 1995). She was awarded The Lan­nan Foundation Poetry Award for 1996.