Poetry Sunday: “Theodicy,” by Meryl Natchez


[From the WVFC Poetry Archive. First Published May 12, 2019.]


Theodicy or How Evil Enters the World

Sleep-deprived, disoriented, your nipples so sore
you’ll be able to hardly bear the child’s ruthless gums,

and when she cries, you decide her up once more,
and wander the few rooms your life has narrowed to,

the gentle floss of their hair, the bluish sample that blooms
underneath clear pores and skin, the shrimp-shell nails so fragile

they bend whenever you attempt to minimize them. Quickly
they start to know who you’re, they attain their chubby arms

in the direction of you, they smile, they nuzzle the gentle bones
of their fontanel into your neck and canopy it with kisses

limpid as cleaning soap bubbles, and there has by no means been something
extra pleasant, not intercourse, not the perfect meal, not driving quick

in a convertible on a winding street by an azure sea,
and you’ll do something for them, and also you do,

you hand over nightlife, grownup dialog, hour-and-a-half
massages, spicy meals, uninterrupted thought,

they usually study to stroll,
to swim, to learn, and also you’ve paid for the orthodontist

and endured the teenage years, and paid for school
and helped out with grad faculty they usually’re launched,

with their very own lives, their very own methods of salting meat,
their very own methods of slicing it, their very own companions and opinions,

right here they’re, flawed human beings with grownup issues
for which it seems you’re the trigger.


First revealed in Nostos, Quantity II, 2018, and reprinted right here with permission of the writer.

Hearken to Natchez studying her poem here.


Meryl Natchez’s most up-to-date guide is a bilingual quantity of translations from the Russian: Poems From the Stray Canine Café: Akhmatova, Mandelstam and Gumilev. She is co-translator of Tadeusz Borowski: Chosen Poems. Her guide of poems, Jade Go well with, appeared in 2001. The books can be found for order here. Natchez’s work has appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Poetry Northwest, The Pinch Literary Assessment, Atlanta Assessment, Lyric, The Moth, Comstock Assessment, and plenty of others. She is on the board of the Marin Poetry Middle and blogs here.



Poet’s Observe

This poem got here to me whereas caring for my toddler grandson. I used to be fascinated about all of the hundreds of hours lavished on youngsters—how they utterly took over my life for many years—and this new, pleasant, cherished life. But in addition, what I couldn’t think about one way or the other is that as they grew, they slowly disappeared from my each day life, reappearing with criticisms and startling opinions. How so many occasions from the previous reappear in a special mild, and in that mild how typically my parenting was discovered wanting. Can any mom escape blame? We’re fallen gods. And this title, a time period I first learn in that fantastic poem by Delmore Schwarz, “Calmly We Stroll Although This April’s Day,” appeared applicable.


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