Queen of the Glass Menagerie

Adults do it wrong
when they arrange the world
like picture postcards
at a funeral.

They do it wrong
when they coordinate
Christmas holidays
for children.

They do it wrong
when they speak in whispers
and foreign tongues, making sure
their secrets aren’t revealed.

They do it wrong
when they protect
from their world.

They do it wrong
when they give them toys,
coddle them like ninnies,
and smile as if at dolls,

We shouldn’t blame the adults
for their confusion.
They only treat children like idiots
because they are animals in a glass zoo.

Laura, queen
of the glass menagerie,
observes but does not purchase
their insanities.

She orchestrates their dancing
but does not dive in,
even when she must sacrifice
every domestic happiness.

Laura laughingly observes
how the adults escape confusion
by erecting fortresses of sanity
and then caging themselves in.


Photo Credit: cerealbawx Flickr via Compfight cc

Rebecca Gould

I am a writer, scholar, and translator of Russian, Persian, and Georgian poetry, and the author of Writers and Rebels (Yale University Press) and After Tomorrow the Days Disappear: Poems of Hasan Sijzi of Delhi (Northwestern University Press). Other work has appeared in Nimrod, The Hudson Review, and Guernica. I teach translation studies at the University of Bristol.

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