Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Family Portrait
By Leo Grudsky
THE PICTURE hangs stiffly against the wall,
Rigidly framed within its final thought.
At the right, the faces of two children,
Emerging from straight dresses like round flowers in a pot,
Stare ahead wonderingly into a queer mist,        5
Whose changing shapes they need not fathom.
In this moment, their mother could not remember them.
She sits like someone suddenly blank
Before an unheard command.
Her tired breasts are trying, all by themselves, to rest.        10
Her legs, standing apart, do not know where they converge.
Her wandering lines have all halted a moment,
Like vague stray dogs, pausing along a street.
Her husband stands behind.
In his eyes is the peace of a blind man,        15
Whose unseen face scowls fiercely,
With his hands gripping hard surfaces.
The grandmother at the left, distant with age,
Worn like a kitchen knife to almost nothing,
Has gathered them all        20
Within the wrinkled labyrinth of her compassion.

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