Monday, May 4, 2009


Yes, I've fallen behind. I pulled a prompt on Saturday but never got around to writing about it. Yesterday and (so far) today I haven't even looked at my prompts.

But I've had this Flannery O'Connor poem knocking around in my head for a few days, ever since I saw someone who looked like her on the Metro.

I've been reading Brad Gooch's biography and enjoying it very much, though the busyness of my life has kept me from reading it very quickly, just as it's kept me from my poems for a few days.

My wild-minded friend over at Capitol Cougar had a thought-provoking post about this book a few days back.


"If you want to say that the wooden leg is a symbol, you can say that. But it is a wooden leg first..."
--Flannery O'Connor

I saw Mary Flannery on the escalator
at Dupont Circle. It was not symbolic
that she was going up. If she held herself
on a single crutch, under her right arm,
it was not political, but merely evidence
of the trail of the wolf through her blood.
(She might have easily supported herself
on the left, or both sides, or none at all.)
And when the long-haired messenger
on the step above suddenly flung out his arms
in a T and fell back, and she caught him with
the quick upswing of the crutch-arm,
and when neither one lost balance but
were secure at the top of the one-hundred-and-
eighty-eight-foot moving stair, it was not
an allegory--just Southern efficiency.
Now when the pigeons parted to let her pass,
wobbling, centuries older than thirty-nine--

well, that part was providence.

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