• Sarah Van Arsdale

April 3, 2022

Updated: Apr 5


Glosa on Vita Sackville-West’s “The Land”



It’s a photo, black and white, Easter 1962,

two small girls beside their tall Daddy


in our spring wool coats, stone-grey as a mare’s hide.

That was a spring of storms. They prowled the night.


We weren’t church-goers. We’d just been to the zoo,

the stony paths in Central Park under my glossy Maryjanes.

Baboons stared at us with their near-human eyes.

Low-level lightning flickered in the east.


A box of Cracker Jacks clutched in one hand,

I wondered if the pensive, kind giraffe

could really read my thoughts like my sister said.

The white pear-blossom gleamed


and shuddered with the chill of wetted wind.

I reached for my sister’s hand, the clouds knotted

over Central Park. Soon, everything would change.

And we stood motionless in the flashes just before the rain.


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