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November 27th, 2015 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 305,693 comments.
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,
kept saying it, training bra,
as if the cups of it had been calling
the breasts up—he buried her in it,
perhaps he had never bothered to take it
off. They found her underpants
in a garbage can. And I feared the word
eczema, like my acne and like
the X in the paper which marked her body,
as if he had killed her for not being flawless.
I feared his name, Burton Abbott,
the first name that was a last name,
as if he were not someone specific.
It was nothing one could learn from his face.
His face was dull and ordinary,
it took away what I’d thought I could count on
about evil. He looked thin and lonely,
it was horrifying, he looked almost humble.
I felt awe that dirt was so impersonal,
and pity for the training bra,
pity and terror of eczema.
And I could not sit on my mother’s electric
blanket anymore, I began to have a 
fear of electricity—
the good people, the parents, were going to
fry him to death. This was what
his parents had been telling us:
Burton Abbott, Burton Abbott,
death to the person, death to the home planet.
The worst thing was to think of her,
of what it had been to be her, alive,
to be walked, alive, into that cabin,
to look into those eyes, and see the human

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 4821 times | Comments and analysis of 1954 by Sharon Olds Comments (62)

1954 - Comments and Information

Poet: Sharon Olds
Poem: 1954

Comment 62 of 62, added on November 9th, 2015 at 9:29 PM.

rfHdaa Really enjoyed this article.Much thanks again. Great.

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Comment 61 of 62, added on October 18th, 2015 at 6:44 PM.

VnZHOI wow, awesome blog.Really thank you! Great.

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Comment 60 of 62, added on October 16th, 2015 at 12:27 PM.

Ic3LnM A big thank you for your article. Much obliged.

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