Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christmas, 2005


By the time I was six months old, she knew something
was wrong with me. I got looks on my face
she had not seen on any child
in the family, or the extended family,
or the neighborhood. My mother took me in
to the pediatrician with the kind hands,
a doctor with a name like a suit size for a wheel:
Hub Long. My mom did not tell him
what she thought in truth, that I was Possessed.
It was just these strange looks on my face—
he held me, and conversed with me,
chatting as one does with a baby, and my mother
said, She’s doing it now! Look!
She’s doing it now! and the doctor said,
What your daughter has
is called a sense
of humor. Ohhh, she said, and took me
back to the house where that sense would be tested
and found to be incurable.

"Diagnosis" by Sharon Olds, from One Secret Thing.


  1. Oh, what writing... beautiful photo...

  2. What a poem!
    What a picture!

    Oh--And thanks for making me laugh very, very hard when you commented on my post the other day!

  3. We like the same poems. I have noticed that. And your children- beautiful.

  4. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing it.

    And the photo.

  5. I love the son in mid-laugh. And the poem is priceless.

  6. That picture is absolutely delightful. If you have a more favorite picture of the three of them, please share because I just can't imagine anything better than that one!

  7. Oh I love Sharon Olds! What a beautiful - but sad poem.

    Irene x

  8. What a lovely poem and a fantastic photo too.

  9. possessed by joy ..... why do we leave our childhood .... seeking out a cure called "cynicism"?



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