Let it snow let it snow let it snow
the children chant outside, though grown-ups know
that the pristine, mystical hush
becomes, next day, wheels squealing, ugly slush.
Yet we smile and stand at the window.
Inside I sip hot chocolate and Cointreau.
Let me tell you something you don’t know:
a voice inside me keeps me free from touch.
Let its no
ring out to the whirling circles of snow
falling, as if “general all over Ireland,” slow,
on the grave of the boy who dies of a mutinous
heart, and the man who’s crushed
to learn he loves a woman he doesn’t know.
Let it snow.
(first appeared in Potomac Review)
I bite my tongue. I’ve seen what can go wrong
when ugly words come dripping off the tongue
as poisonous as snakes and lizards from
that fairy tale. It’s better to go dumb,
to swallow what I want to say. That song
—Dad’s calling, 3 a.m.— of all that’s wrong
with me: I’m stupid, useless, fat, and going
nowhere fast, just like my mother. Um—
I bite my tongue.
I know he’s drunk and doesn’t mean the things
he says to me. So now when things go wrong
between me and my lover, I go numb.
Because I’ve been injected with words’ venom
and still remain affected by the sting,
I bite my tongue.
(first appeared in the online journal Innisfree)
BIO: Moira Egan has an MFA from Columbia University, where James Merrill chose her manuscript for the David Craig Austin Prize. Her books include Cleave (WWPH, 2004) and La Seta della Cravatta (a bi-lingual volume, forthcoming from Edizioni L'Obliquo, Italy, 2009). Her poems have appeared in many journals and in several anthologies including Best American Poetry 2008 and Poesie per anime gemelle (Newton Compton Editori, Rome). With Damiano Abeni, she published Un mondo che non può essere migliore: Poesie scelte 1956-2007, a substantial selection of poems by John Ashbery (Sossella Editore, Italy, 2008). She lives in Rome.