Molly Peacock

Two Poems
October 22, 2023 Peacock Molly



Where does it live?
you would ask me.
Saucer, cup, spoon—
which shelf, which drawer.
“You might not come home…”
I know, you said.
Three paramedics
had just burst in.
Everything had
to have its spot:
book, shirt, key, shoe.
Where does it live?
pen, tape, plug, file.
They picked you up.
Nail, wrench, hammer, awl.
They carried you out.
I grabbed my coat.
For a moment
an unhinged storm:
knives leapt from drawers,
extension cords
pliers, screwdrivers
from cabinet doors:
bowls, pots, towels,
paperclips, Band-Aids…
Where do we live?
Where do we live?
As plastic containers flew,
I slammed the door
and ran toward you.
Where do you live?
And after a long
time, I returned.
Like excited pets
who’d finally settled,
they’d slipped back
to their shelves and slept
for their doors were shut
when I entered alone.



MAID: Medical Assistance in Dying, Toronto


About his death, we
Talked without words, then came time
Loss of hearing not
Quite total for either the old
Doctor—or my husband
(She held a tiny
Amplifier)—so they yelled
Whole floor knew his wish:
Medical Assistance
In Dying Three witnesses
List Pen Loop-signed x-ed
A second doctor came
In blue metallic glasses:
I’ve held cats for this
Now him, soft favorite shirt
When he heard “in fifteen
minutes” he sank
Went still as snow—no thrash
No rattle, just the glide
The long, furred body
I loved even to his death
My head on his chest
Warm earth I shifted
Not to hear his stopped heart
The clock his last view
Held his hand until
It cooled to a waxy gray
The suitcase waiting
The next world is one
Of ideas—
are those his?
Glass shapes in the sun!
His clear thoughts refract
All their angles made known
Have you received thoughts
And wondered why they’ve not
Occurred to you before?
They could be his

Molly Peacock is the author of eight collections of poetry, including The Analyst: Poems and Cornucopia: New and Selected Poems. Her poems appear in leading literary journals such as Poetry, The Malahat Review, The Women’s Review of Books, and Plume and are anthologized in The Oxford Book of American Poetry. Former President of the Poetry Society of America and former Poet-in-Residence at the American Poets’ Corner, she is the co-founder of Poetry in Motion on New York’s subways and buses and the founder of The Best Canadian Poetry. Her latest project is Molly Peacock’s Secret Poetry Room, a creative space for first generation college students to write at Binghamton University. Recipient of fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the New York Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Canada Council on the Arts, Access Copyright Canada, the Society for Citizens and Scholars, and the Leon Levy Center for Biography, Peacock is also the author of two biographies about creativity in the lives of women artists: The Paper Garden:Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life’s Work at 72 and Flower Diary: Mary Hiester Reid Paints, Travels, Marries & Opens a Door. From a binational American and Canadian family, she lives in Toronto and teaches at 92NY Roundtable in New York City.