Rachel Hadas

Rose-Scented Lotion | Blue
August 23, 2016 Hadas Rachel

Rose-Scented Lotion

 

The level of rose-scented lotion daily

lower in its bottle. And because

 

we are not attempting to fill it,

time slows to a standstill.

 

The room brims with silence.

Afternoon nap? Not yet afternoon.

 

Sun neither out nor in.

March takes a breath.

 

No chasing now, no fleeing.

What were we after? I

 

forget and then remember.

Remember and forget

 

what was after us.

However still you stand, it blunders past

 

Only for so long before it finds you.

However fast you run,

 

you can outrun it only for so long.

This afternoon (now truly afternoon)

 

it too has paused for breath.

No mad pursuit, no struggle to escape.

 

The bottle of rose-scented lotion

is neither full nor empty.

 

 

 

 

Blue

 

When my son was two,

taken to the country the first time

and held up to admire the rural view,

what did he see? He told us:

too much blue.

“I don’t like those blue mountains,” he said.

Looking at the powder-corpsy blue

walls of my Athenian apartment,

“Blue is a thirsty color,” the poet decreed.

He and the two year-old would have agreed.

That toddler now is thirty-one. And I

lived in Athens forty years ago.

Twenty years ago the poet died.

In life he gave the child a big blue bead,

cloudy beach glass. Though that bead got lost,

as keepsakes do,

our three minds met and still can meet

in blue.

Rachel Hadas’s new collection, Poems for Camilla, will be published by Measure Press in June 2018. Her verse translations of Euripides’ two Iphigenia plays are due out from Northwestern University Press the same month.