The Pact By Sharon Olds

The Pact We played dolls in that house where Father staggered with the Thanksgiving knife, where Mother wept at noon into her one ounce of…

Read More..

The Borders By Sharon Olds

The Borders To say that she came into me, from another world, is not true. Nothing comes into the universe and nothing leaves it. My…

Read More..

Her First Week By Sharon Olds

Her First Week She was so small I would scan the crib a half-second to find her, face-down in a corner, limp as something gently…

Read More..

The Sash By Sharon Olds

The Sash The first ones were attached to my dress at the waist, one on either side, right at the point where hands could clasp…

Read More..

Sex Without Love By Sharon Olds

Sex Without Love How do they do it, the ones who make love without love? Beautiful as dancers, gliding over each other like ice-skaters over…

Read More..

Take The I Out By Sharon Olds

Take The I Out But I love the I, steel I-beam that my father sold. They poured the pig iron into the mold, and it…

Read More..

1954 By Sharon Olds

1954 Then dirt scared me, because of the dirt he had put on her face. And her training bra scared me—the newspapers, morning and evening,…

Read More..

The Space Heater By Sharon Olds

The Space Heater On the then-below-zero day, it was on, near the patients’ chair, the old heater kept by the analyst’s couch, at the end,…

Read More..

Primitive By Sharon Olds

Primitive I have heard about the civilized, the marriages run on talk, elegant and honest, rational. But you and I are savages. You come in…

Read More..

The Clasp By Sharon Olds

The Clasp She was four, he was one, it was raining, we had colds, we had been in the apartment two weeks straight, I grabbed…

Read More..

Unspeakable By Sharon Olds

Unspeakable Now I come to look at love in a new way, now that I know I’m not standing in its light. I want to…

Read More..

The Mortal One By Sharon Olds

The Mortal One Three months after he lies dead, that long yellow narrow body, not like Christ but like one of his saints, the naked…

Read More..

My Son The Man By Sharon Olds

My Son The Man Suddenly his shoulders get a lot wider, the way Houdini would expand his body while people were putting him in chains….

Read More..

Still Life In Landscape By Sharon Olds

Still Life In Landscape It was night, it had rained, there were pieces of cars and half-cars strewn, it was still, and bright, a woman…

Read More..

Toth Farry By Sharon Olds

Toth Farry In the back of the charm-box, in a sack, the baby canines and incisors are mostly chaff, by now, split kernels and acicular…

Read More..

The Flurry By Sharon Olds

The Flurry When we talk about when to tell the kids, we are so together, so concentrated. I mutter, ‘I feel like a killer.’ ‘I’m…

Read More..

One Year By Sharon Olds

One Year When I got to his marker, I sat on it, like sitting on the edge of someone’s bed and I rubbed the smooth,…

Read More..

Topography By Sharon Olds

Topography After we flew across the country we got in bed, laid our bodies delicately together, like maps laid face to face, East to West,…

Read More..

The Ferryer By Sharon Olds

The Ferryer Three years after my father’s death he goes back to work. Unemployed for twenty-five years, he’s very glad to be taken on again,…

Read More..

Japanese-American Farmhouse, California, 1942 By Sharon Olds

Japanese-American Farmhouse, California, 1942 Everything has been taken that anyone thought worth taking. The stairs are tilted, scattered with sycamore leaves curled like ammonites in…

Read More..

True Love By Sharon Olds

True Love In the middle of the night, when we get up after making love, we look at each other in complete friendship, we know…

Read More..

The Knowing By Sharon Olds

The Knowing Afterwards, when we have slept, paradise- comaed and woken, we lie a long time looking at each other. I do not know what…

Read More..

May 1968 By Sharon Olds

May 1968 When the Dean said we could not cross campus until the students gave up the buildings, we lay down, in the street, we…

Read More..

Voices By Sharon Olds

Voices (for Lucille) Our voices race to the towers, and up beyond the atmosphere, to the satellite, slowly turning, then back down to another tower,…

Read More..

The End By Sharon Olds

The End We decided to have the abortion, became killers together. The period that came changed nothing. They were dead, that young couple who had…

Read More..

I Could Not Tell By Sharon Olds

I Could Not Tell I could not tell I had jumped off that bus, that bus in motion, with my child in my arms, because…

Read More..

The Wedding Vow By Sharon Olds

The Wedding Vow I did not stand at the altar, I stood at the foot of the chancel steps, with my beloved, and the minister…

Read More..

The Death Of Marilyn Monroe By Sharon Olds

The Death of Marilyn Monroe The ambulance men touched her cold body, lifted it, heavy as iron, onto the stretcher, tried to close the mouth,…

Read More..

I Go Back To May 1937 By Sharon Olds

I Go Back To May 1937 I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges, I see my father strolling out under the…

Read More..

The Unborn By Sharon Olds

The Unborn Sometimes I can almost see, around our heads, Like gnats around a streetlight in summer, The children we could have, The glimmer of…

Read More..

The Month Of June- 13 1-2 By Sharon Olds

The Month of June- 13 1-2 As our daughter approaches graduation and puberty at the same time, at her own, calm, deliberate, serious rate, she…

Read More..

A Week Later By Sharon Olds

A Week Later A week later, I said to a friend: I don’t think I could ever write about it. Maybe in a year I…

Read More..

The Victims By Sharon Olds

The Victims When Mother divorced you, we were glad. She took it and took it in silence, all those years and then kicked you out,…

Read More..

The Daughter Goes To Camp By Sharon Olds

The Daughter Goes To Camp In the taxi alone, home from the airport, I could not believe you were gone. My palm kept creeping over…

Read More..

Crab By Sharon Olds

Crab When I eat crab, slide the rosy rubbery claw across my tongue I think of my mother. She’d drive down to the edge of…

Read More..

1954 – Sharon Olds

Then dirt scared me, because of the dirt he had put on her face. And her training bra scared me—the newspapers, morning and evening, kept…

Read More..