UNDERTOW
She was not cold and I was
still a girl. Okay, I’ll never
recover that. She was tall. She
had black hair, her skin tanned fast,
dark blue eyes. I can’t remember
her teeth. She liked to wear bright
colors, used the word sweetie
ironically. I’ll be seventy,
her dead forty-three years, wake
angry and weeping still. She comes
down the stairs wearing black
and white. She comes down the stairs
smiling and the room swerves.
I’m tiny in her arms, as if
flat against a steep mountain.
The sky is strong, pulls at me,
but she holds. Understand, I don’t
believe this will ever change.

Honor Moore’s most recent book is The Bishop’s Daughter, a memoir, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, a Los Angeles Times Favorite Book of the Year and a New York Times editor’s choice. Her most recent collection of poems is Red Shoes. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The American Scholar, Salmagundi, The New Republic, Freeman’s and recently Poetry and Tin House. For the Library of America, she edited Amy Lowell: Selected Poems and Poems from the Women’s Movement, featured in the current documentary about American feminism, “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry.” She has been poet in residence at Wesleyan and the University of Richmond, a frequent visiting professor at the Columbia School of the Arts, and three times the Bedell Visiting Distinguished Writer in the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa. When she was in her twenties, Mourning Pictures, her play in poetry about her mother’s death, was produced on Broadway and won her a fellowship from the New York State Council on the Arts; in the 1970s, she wrote on theatre for Ms. and, from 2005-2007, off-Broadway theatre reviews for the New York Times. The White Blackbird, A Life of the Painter Margarett Sargent by Her Granddaughter, published in 1996 and just reissued, was a New York Times Notable Book. She has also received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, The Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives and writes in New York City, where she is completing Q&A a new book of poems, in the final stages of Looking for Jenny, a memoir of her mother, and collaborating with Alix Kates Shulman on Writing the Women’s Movement, a volume of writing from Second Wave Feminism, for Library of America. She is on the graduate writing faculty of the New School, coordinating the nonfiction concentration.

Honor Moore Poet

honormoore.com/

Location
New York, NY