From the Archives

My Cousin in April

Louise Glück

Under cerulean, amid her backyard's knobby rhubarb squats
My cousin to giggle with her baby, pat
His bald top. From a window I can catch them mull
Basil, glinty silica, sienna through the ground's brocade
Of tarragon, or pause under the oblong shade
Of the garage. The nervous, emerald fanning
Of some rhizome skims my cousin's knee
As up and down she bends to the baby.
I'm knitting sweaters for her second child.
As though, down miles of dinners, had not heard her rock her bed
In rage and thought it years she lay,
Locked in that tantrum. O but such stir as in her body
Had to come round. Amid violet, azalea,
Round around the whole arriving garden now with her son she passes
What I paused to catch, the early bud phases, on the springing grass.

Louise Glück is a poet and essayist. She is the Rosenkranz Writer-in-Residence at Yale and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2020.
Originally published:
June 1, 1971

Featured

Essays

Communalism in the Veld

Rethinking property in South Africa
Glen Retief

Fiction

The Front House

Cord Jefferson

Books

The Sublime Modes of Sheila Heti

The novelist as philosopher
Noreen Khawaja

You Might Also Like

From the Archives

A Last Hayride

James Tate

From the Archives

Messages

Mary Oliver

From the Archives

[Somehow myself survived the night]

Emily Dickinson

Subscribe

New perspectives, enduring writing. Subscribe to The Yale Review and receive four beautiful print issues per year.
Subscribe