Believe that Even in My Deliberateness I Was Not Deliberate

By Gail Mazur

Featured Art: Butterfly by Mary Altha Nims

Believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate
—The end words form this line from Gwendolyn Brooks’
poem, “the mother”

We’d be calm, we’d be serene, as long as we could believe

in the blue dragonflies and balletic monarchs that

hovered near us in a kind of peaceable kingdom even

while my love’s illness menaced the peace in

the summer yard, in the fragile house, in the air I breathed in my

deliberateness. My only stratagem, deliberateness:

to accept our lot in that pathless time. I

thought I’d know what he’d want; what I’d want was-

n’t any different. Wouldn’t it be, wouldn’t it finally be, not

to consider how finite our August? Not to deliberate?


Gail Mazur is the author of 8 collections of poetry: Nightfire, The Pose of Happiness, The Common, They Cant Take That Away from Me, Zeppo’s First Wife, Figures in a Landscape, Forbidden City, and Land’s End: New and Selected Poems. She lives and works in Cambridge and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Originally published in NOR 18: Fall 2015

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