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2085 / Sandra M. Gilbert It's 2085, you're walking on a dirt road in Sicily, you're my bloodkin , a seventeen-year-old girl with black curls and a faint smudge of shadow on your upper lip: have you come from New York to find lost ancestors, or have you always been here? Dry hüls, stacks of heat, tower around you; nearby, there are goats, donkeys, chickens, a smell of dung simmering, and smoke, grain, rosamarina; in the sky, a track of supersonic light— but you don't look up, you're reading, thinking, trying to imagine the past, and my sentences won't help you, though they brood in you like chromosomes: I can't tell you who I was, in my queer costume, with my modern ideas: my words stand in the fields beside you— stones, dead trees—the way the land you walk through stood behind me, an unknown monument. And now the road unfolds and shines ahead like the history neither of us understands. 170 · The Missouri Review It turns you toward the sea, toward the inarticulate Aegean. Sandra Gilbert The Missouri Review · 272 GRANDPA / Sandra M. Gilbert Garlic and cigars recall you, stuffed mushrooms, spinach ravioli, Genoa haunting your kitchen, and you with your dragging foot— bad circulation, maybe a stroke— 5'3", bald, gray forehead, gray mustache, failed restaurateur, failed painter, thinning as you cooked, thinning to the one you were in the bottle-green Hotel Negresco uniform in Nice, only now in Queens, pining for the old farm, the hills above the sea . . . When they paced the cobbled wharf at Genoa planning their moves five centuries ago, what did they imagine? The men must have been seamen: leaning landward like old walls, they must have dreamed you as a wave breaking on some far island. You must have been their intention for the future. When the great ship set sail, heeling and running free, you lay in the hold, naked of uniforms, painter of frescoes, master of promised spices, rosy, perfect. What accident of the mid-Atlantic turned you into a scrap of cargo lost by the civilization of the wind— 272 · The Missouri Review the calm sea, the prosperous voyage— that left you and your dragging foot behind? Sandra Gilbert THE MISSOURI REVIEW · 273 ...


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