The End of Everything, by Virginia Aronson

The End of Everything
by Virginia Aronson

A roof thatched with blackbirds
wine cellar alluring as the stable
servants’ cottage ready for guests
the hills greening, greening
everything has happened.

Baby unhappy, his swarthy face
dark red and ferocious
the little girl playing tea party
under apple trees in bloom
white petals floating down
fat juicy blackberries, raspberries
elegant old elms running slow
to a river flecked with silvery fish.

A watercolor primrose garden
flowers drunk on their own scent
splurging lilacs and nut trees
he plants peaches, plums, pears
you can see from the window
in your private study, writing
at the desk he sanded down
for you one long plank
from a coffin
everything has happened.

A tiny town of farmers
factory workers and housewives
no television or education
just slow sheep, cows grazing
lulling, lulling
in a rippling sea of grass
orange sunsets casting shadows
over your country manor
and the mad dreams you share
with us still.

Sources: Red Comet by Heather Clark
Process notes: It seems almost trite to write poetry about Sylvia Plath but while reading Clark’s new and fascinating biography, I erupted in a short series of poems. As Plath was struggling with the collapse of her marriage, she was also striving to be a successful writer and a good mother to two babies. This is the kind of impossible situation women writers have long faced, and it is still relatable almost 60 years later. Her desperation is ours too.

Virginia Aronson is the author of many published books, both nonfiction and fiction. Her poems have appeared in literary journals and in books from small poetry presses. Itako was published by Clare Songbirds Publishing House in 2020. In 2021, Shanti Arts Publishing will release Hikikomori. Originally from Boston, she currently resides in the lush and lurid tropics.

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