Poetry by Sharon Olds

I Go Back to May 1937 
by Sharon Olds 

I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges, 
I see my father strolling out 
Under the ochre sandstone arch . . . 
I see my mother with a few light books at her hip . . . 
They are about to graduate, about to get married . . . 
I want to go up to them and say, stop, 
don’t do it – she’s the wrong woman, 
he’s the wrong man, you are going to do things 
you cannot imagine you would ever do, 
you are going to do bad things to children . . . 
but I don’t do it.  I want to live.  I 
take them up like male and female 
paper dolls and bang them together 
at the hips like chips of flint as if 
to strike sparks from them.  I say 
Do whatever you are going to do, and 
I will tell about it.