On This Day in Poetry History

When Eight-Month-Old Elizabeth Bishop’s Father Dies, Her Mother, Gertrude, Stops Ice-Skating

When eight-month-old Elizabeth Bishop’s father dies,
her mother, Gertrude, stops ice-skating
disinclined to the blade’s splintery wake,
the skate’s furrow etching a tether.
She’ll have to go to hospital.
She’ll come and go like attention,
like the thread in a basting stitch,
and the image of her standing in the door becomes
the space in the door where she was.

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