Tuesday Dec 12

Erin-Murphy

Erin Murphy is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Dislocation and Other Theories (Word Press, 2008). With Todd Davis, she is co-editor of Making Poems: 40 Poems with Commentary by the Poets (forthcoming from State University of New York Press). She teaches English and creative writing at The Pennsylvania State University, Altoona College.

Photograph by Bill Englander

 

 

 
After ‘The Boating Party’
.............My mistake was in devoting myself to art,
.............instead of having children.
..........................—Mary Cassatt

Is the woman gazing at the man
or beyond him? In her eyes, do we see

indifference or a plea for affection?
Is the pink baby milk-fattened

and content or desperate
to wrest free? Is the man teasing

the child with a winsome smirk
or scolding her for squirming? Is the water

blue-green or gray-blue? Did Cassatt
make a mistake? Did I? Did you?