Download PDF by Sharan Strange: Ash

Teen Young Adult

By Sharan Strange

ISBN-10: 0807068632

ISBN-13: 9780807068632

ISBN-10: 0807068640

ISBN-13: 9780807068649

Advent by way of Sonia Sanchez Winner of the 2000 Barnard New lady Poets Prize

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Barely able to drive my daddy’s truck, I took him through miles of corn-stubble and cotton brambles before, as they say, the jig was up. I’ll bet my parents’ moonshine eased his ire, because I decided when to leave that town. Then the army—not to be their version, but out of wanderlust. There, my drinking habit took hold. How else to bank the rage? So many ways to thwart a man. . Family—does that make a man? To preside over a house? a wife? To make a wage—and drink it up? To bury father, brothers, sister, mother?

After fifty years a corridor is no longer a corridor, a window is solid, holds a picture like a movie screen. The doctors have undone a lifetime of darkness— for what? You still close your eyes, won’t turn on lamps at home. The city seems a mirage, dishonest with constant movement, or so shy it flattens into image, then shimmers. Seeing is strange! Free of the dark, sharp spots of color float, shapes wave, bounce—an endless cacophony of surfaces. You’re vulnerable, trying to fashion it all into a tapestry that means this I know.

He holds our mother, shattered, but dignified, the way we’d hoped she’d be. Her black suit and hat are armor. Tears move down her face like wax. My aunts, svelte, New Yorkish, taste a private, refined sorrow. My sisters cling to each other. They are on the verge of this world, seeing her gone. We all are: family, friends, neighbors, church. The choir wails over their hymnals as the soloist’s strident notes hover. ’’ I clutch a book of poems, turn to the one written for her, and read, over and over, each word.

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Ash by Sharan Strange


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