Virgins of Eighty


If you revealed the chill
meant to afflict
porous bone,
helpless flesh,
my faith in poetry
might have been shaken,

but time has misrepresented
both of you.

Your thickened tongues grow
slender and deft as you read,
darting with pronunciations
of first love,
subsequent outrage.

Feuding rebels,
nostalgia is not
powerful enough
for such resilience.

You are both
virgins of eighty
who still speak with passion:

in the urgent heat
of the hungry.

Poetry reading
Jewish Public Library, Montréal — April 21, 1994

[for Louis Dudek and Irving Layton]

2 thoughts on “Virgins of Eighty

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