The Vow

Original Text: 
Molly Peacock, The Second Blush (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2008): 63. PS3566 .E15 S43 2008 Robarts Library.
Molly Peacock, The Second Blush: Poems, 1st edn. (New York: W. W. Norton, 2008): 19. PS3566 .E15 S43 2008X Robarts Library
1Every time you suffer disappointment
2it makes me fall in love with you again
3because I almost cannot bear to see
4the dumbstruck purity in your face bent
5on figuring how or why you couldn't see
6it coming. Maybe I could have fixed it when
7things were in the planning stage, but now
8that it's turned out so badly, you say, what
10of your chemistry rebalancing.
12is an animal virtue I learn again as you vow
13without words but with a shading of your eye
14softening into an injured decision not
15to inhale again the fumes of society.
16Your eye is like the eye of a dog
17I met as a child. I felt it was about
18to speak to me the wisdom I would need
19for my whole life, if only it would talk.
20Yet understanding nothing would be spoken
21made me vow to pledge my life to it.


9] valence: "The power or capacity of certain elements to combine with or displace a greater or less number of hydrogen (or other) atoms; atomicity" (OED, "valency," 2; "valence," 2, 3); also, courage. Back to Line
11] valiance: the quality of being brave. Back to Line
Publication Notes: 
Cincinatti Review 5.1
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright 2008 Molly Peacock: <i>Second Blush</i> W. W. Norton; and McClelland and Stewart. Permission to reproduce must be obtained from the publisher.