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Grace Paley - This Life

My friend tells me
a man in my house jumped off the roof
the roof is the eighth floor of this building
the roof door was locked   how did he manage?
his girlfriend had said   goodbye I'm leaving
he was 22
his mother and father were hurrying
at that very moment
from upstate to help him move out of Brooklyn
they had heard about the girl

the people who usually look up
and call   jump jump   did not see him
the life savers who creep around the back staircases
and reach the roof's edge just in time
never got their chance   he meant it   he wanted
only one person to know

did he imagine that she would grieve
all her young life away   tell everyone
this boy I kind of lived with last year
he died on account of me

my friend was not interested   he said   you're always
inventing stuff   what I want to know   how could he throw
his life away   how do these guys do it
just like that   and here I am fighting this
ferocious insane vindictive virus day and
night   day and night   and for what?   for only
one thing   this life   this life

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 5583 times | Comments and analysis of This Life by Grace Paley Comments (15)

This Life - Comments and Information

Poet: Grace Paley
Poem: This Life
Volume: Begin Again, Collected Poems
Year: Published/Written in 2001
Poem of the Day: May 17 2016

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