Emma Hardy Speaks from the Grave

Elisabeth Murawski Click to

Author of Zorba’s Daughter, winner of the 2010 May Swenson Poetry Award, Moon and Mercury and the chapbooks Troubled by an Angel and Out-patients, Ms. Murawski is a Hawthornden fellow, 2008.  Her publications include: The Yale Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, FIELD, Southern Review, Ontario Review, The New Republic and The Literary Review. A native of Chicago, she currently lives in Alexandria, VA, and her poem “Emma Hardy Speaks from the Grave” received Washington and Lee’s 2011 Graybeal-Gowen Prize for Virginia Poetry.

It was the cook who held me,
dying. Thomas loved me more
in retrospect, dipping

his pen in the well,
resurrecting Cornwall.
On his writing desk,

he kept a calendar
set to March 7th, the day
we met, a fetish

galling to Florence,
his second wife. She
must have been in shock

to split him up
like that: his ashes
taken to the Abbey
for the nation to revere,
his heart here with me
in Stinsford churchyard.

I would have vetoed
the cremation.
Each of us, wanting

so much to be first,
failed to see
Thomas loved best

no woman in the flesh
but the daughter
of his mind: my Tess.


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