Extended Family

Linda reading:

My daughter wonders who you are,
sitting in the small rocking chair
in my study, reading me Rilke and Goethe
you have translated especially for me.

What’s available on my shelves
is not exactly right, you say.
Now you and I have the evening
to rock and swivel among the words
you have chosen for me in English.
The poetry leans back and forth,
it dips round and round, unloosened
well beyond the confines of birthright.

My many sons and daughters
push the edges out of what I know
so, so far that I’m giddy with voices
and all their laughing tongues.