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.