A poem by Martha Rhodes, director of the Festival and Conference on Poetry


That I’ve died, or because you’ve broken
your favorite wine glass, or lost your passport,
or because you yourself are ill—why you’re miserable
won’t matter to me—misery is what
I’ll send your way: Death will not sweeten me—
I will forgive only myself. Not you, not you.
Misery will fly toward you as you close
my eyes and pat my hair; as you
draw the sheets up over my head, a puff
of soot, my last gesture. Go, go. I will not
miss you though once I did—you’d left
our young bed to prepare lemonade.
You took so long.

from THE BEDS by Martha Rhodes © 2012 Autumn House Press. All rights reserved.

Martha Rhodes, director and faculty member of The Frost Place Festival and Conference on Poetry, is the author of four collections of poetry: At the Gate, Perfect Disappearance (Green Rose Prize), Mother Quiet, and The Beds . Her poems have been published widely in such journals as Agni, Columbia, Fence, New England Review, Pleiades, Ploughshares, and TriQuarterly. She has also been anthologized widely, her work appearing in Agni 30 Years, Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women, Poem in Your Pocket (a publication of the Academy of American Poets), and It’s Not You, It’s Me. Rhodes has taught at Emerson College, New School University, and University of California at Irvine. She is a member of the faculties of Sarah Lawrence College and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. A former member of the board of trustees of The Frost Place, she now serves on its advisory board. She has directed the Festival and Conference on Poetry since 2010. Martha Rhodes is the director of Four Way Books in NYC.

One thought on “A poem by Martha Rhodes, director of the Festival and Conference on Poetry

  1. How devastating is this image : “you’d left / our young bed to prepare lemonade.”

    A deathbed curse to avenge “broken” wedding vows.

    I can think only of Shakespeare’s women scorned.

    Martha Rhodes was a fabulous workshop leader at The Frost Place!

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