※当前位置※主页 > 诗歌鉴赏 > 国外美文 > 故事:A Happy Childhood by William Matthews
返回首页

A Happy Childhood by William Matthews

2013-11-04 13:51来源: 点滴生活文学 作者:William Matthews浏览:
在线投稿      发表作品

My mother stands at the screen door, laughing.
“Out out damn Spot,” she commands our silly dog.
I wonder what this means. I rise into adult air

like a hollyhock, I’m so proud to be loved
like this. The air is tight to my nervous body.
I use new clothes and shoes the way the corn-studded

soil around here uses nitrogen, giddily.
Ohio, Ohio, Ohio. Often I sing
to myself all day like a fieldful of August

insects, just things I whisper, really,
a trance in sneakers. I’m learning
to read from my mother and soon I’ll go to school,

I hate it when anyone dies or leaves and the air
goes slack around my body and I have to hug myself,
a cloud, an imaginary friend, the stream in the road-

side park. I love to be called for dinner.
Spot goes out and I go in and the lights
in the kitchen go on and the dark,

which also has a body like a cloud’s,
leans lightly against the house. Tomorrow
I’ll find the sweat stains it left, little grey smudges.


Here’s a sky no higher than a street lamp,
and a stack of morning papers cinched by wire.
It’s 4:00 A.M. A stout dog, vaguely beagle,

minces over the dry, fresh-fallen snow;
and here’s our sleep-sodden paperboy
with his pliers, his bike, his matronly dog,

his unclouding face set for paper route
like an alarm clock. Here’s a memory
in the making, for this could be the morning

he doesn’t come home and his parents
two hours later drive his route until
they find him asleep, propped against a street lamp,

his papers all delivered and his dirty paper-
satchel slack, like an emptied lung,
and he blur-faced and iconic in the morning

air rinsing itself a paler and paler blue
through which a last few dandruff-flecks
of snow meander casually down.

The dog squeaks in out of the dark,
snuffling me too me too. And here he goes
home to memory, and to hot chocolate

on which no crinkled skin forms like infant ice,
and to the long and ordinary day,
school, two triumphs and one severe

humiliation on the playground, the past
already growing its scabs, the busride home,
dinner, and evening leading to sleep

like the slide that will spill him out, come June,
into the eye-reddening chlorine waters
of the municipal pool. Here he goes to bed.

Kiss. Kiss. Teeth. Prayers. Dark. Dark.
Here the dog lies down by his bed,
and sighs and farts. Will he always be

this skinny, chicken-bones?
He’ll remember like a prayer
how his mother made breakfast for him

every morning before he trudged out
to snip the papers free. Just as
his mother will remember she felt

guilty never to wake up with him
to give him breakfast. It was Cream
of Wheat they always or never had together.

It turns out you are the story of your childhood
and you’re under constant revision,
like a lonely folktale whose invisible folks

are all the selves you’ve been, lifelong,
shadows in fog, grey glimmers at dusk.
And each of these selves had a childhood

it traded for love and grudged to give away,
now lost irretrievably, in storage
like a set of dishes from which no food,

no Cream of Wheat, no rabbit in mustard
sauce, nor even a single raspberry,
can be eaten until the afterlife,

which is only childhood in its last
disguise, all radiance or all humiliation,
and so it is forfeit a final time.

In fact it was awful, you think, or why
should the piecework of grief be endless?
Only because death is, and likewise loss,

which is not awful, but only breathtaking.
There’s no truth about your childhood,
though there’s a story, yours to tend,

like a fire or garden. Make it a good one,

敬告:文章来源于网络 仅供个人学习和参考 版权归属作者所有 禁止商业用途转载!
文章评论
发表评论
请自觉遵守互联网相关的政策法规,严禁发布色情、暴力、反动的言论。
评价:
表情:
验证码:点击我更换图片
推荐图文
热点图文