Domestic Interior

The woman is as round
as the new ring
ambering her finger.
The mirror weds her.
She has long since been bedded.

There is
about it all
a quiet search for attention,
like the unexpected shine
of a despised utensil.

The oils,
the varnishes,
the cracked light,
the worm of permanence––
all of them supplied by Van Eyck––

by whose edict she will stay
burnished, fertile
on her wedding day,
interred in her joy.
Love, turn.

The convex of your eye
that is so loving, bright
and constant yet shows
only this woman in her varnishes,
who won’t improve in the light.

But there’s a way of life
that is its own witness:
put the kettle on, shut the blind.
Home is a sleeping child,
and open mind

and our effects,
shrugged and settled
in the sort of light
jugs and kettles
grow important by.

— Eavan Boland

Eaven Boland is an Irish born poet. Her books of poetry include Against Love Poems, The Lost Land, An Origin Like Water: Collected Poems 1967-1987, In a Time of Violence, Outside History: Selected Poems 1980-1990, The Journey and Other Poems, Night Feed, and In Her Own Image. In addition to her books of poetry, Boland is also the author of Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time, a volume of prose, and co-editor of The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. Her awards include a Lannan Foundation Award in Poetry and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award. A regular reviewer for the Irish Times, she is currently professor of English at Stanford University.