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Instructions for My Mother’s Funeral

Laura Read

Publication Year: 2012

This poetry collection is divided into three sections. The first opens with the speaker’s reflections on her childhood loss of her father and subsequent move to a new house and a new life, a life in which she is always alert to the absences and danger but also a life in which she begins to see language as a kind of salvation. This section also develops the speaker’s first knowledge of sex, primarily in the poems, “The Goose Girl” and “A Woman Was Raped Here.” The second section follows the speaker into adolescence and young adulthood, and these poems further explore the sexual violence in the world in which the speaker lives, and how this violence affects her own feelings toward sex and romantic love. In the third section, the book finds love, work, and family, and the poems in this section about motherhood echo back to the first section as the speaker’s own parenting is influenced by how difficult it is to love when you know people die.

Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. ix-x

The Pearl

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pp. 1-2

Part I

The Door Flies Open

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pp. 5-

Nocturnal

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pp. 6-7

This Time We’ll Go to Kentucky Fried Chicken

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pp. 8-

Coney Island, 1977

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pp. 9-10

The Blue Dress with the Daisies

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pp. 11-

We Move to a House Where He Never Lived

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pp. 12-13

The Goose Girl

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pp. 14-15

Penny Poker

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pp. 16-

May 18, 1980

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pp. 17-18

When She Married Him

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pp. 19-

“A Woman Was Raped Here”

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pp. 20-21

Cecilia

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pp. 22-

After the Hysterectomy

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pp. 23-

Elegy with Carousel and Doorknob

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pp. 24-

Cefalu

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pp. 25-26

Ars Poetica

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pp. 27-28

Part II

The Deaf Girls

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pp. 31-

Hide and Seek

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pp. 32-33

Donut Parade

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pp. 34-35

Flight

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pp. 36-37

Muddy Waters

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pp. 38-

Mr. Birdsell, Room 108

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pp. 39-

Even Though I Know the Door to Our Compartment Won’t Lock

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pp. 40-

Salt of the Earth

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pp. 41-42

Wyoming

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pp. 43-44

Seatac

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pp. 45-46

In Paris Women Walk in the Dark

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pp. 47-48

The Big Dipper

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pp. 50-

Menlo

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pp. 51-52

The Flower Horses

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pp. 53-

Paper Clothes

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pp. 54-

Watching Oksana

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pp. 55-56

Part III

Merge

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pp. 59-60

Instructions for My Mother’s Funeral

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pp. 61-62

Long Distance

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pp. 63-64

You Flew across the Map

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pp. 65-66

For the Bible Tells Me So

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pp. 67-68

Something about Winning

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pp. 69-70

Community College

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pp. 71-72

The Little Mermaid, the Long Version

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pp. 73-74

For Matthew, Who Doesn’t Love the Sea

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pp. 75-76

The House on North Stevens

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pp. 77-

How to Be Sad

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pp. 78-

At the Chicago Art Institute, My Mother Tells Me to Write a Poem about Jeannette

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pp. 79-83

About a Baby

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pp. 84-85

Trying to Contact Neil Diamond

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pp. 86-88

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 89-90

Many thanks to the editors of the publications in which some of these poems first appeared: Bellingham Review, “Seatac” and “July”; Blue Earth Review, “Cecilia,” “Cefalu,” and “Ars Poetica”; Cincinnati Review, “Wyoming”; Cold Mountain Review, “The Pearl”; Crab Creek Review, “Flight”; ...


E-ISBN-13: 9780822978442
E-ISBN-10: 082297844X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780822962151
Print-ISBN-10: 0822962152

Page Count: 104
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Pitt Poetry Series
Series Editor Byline: Ed Ochester

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