February 2000

Deborah Digges


Deborah Digges (photo by Star Black) Deborah Digges is the author of three books of poems, Vesper Sparrows, Late in the Millennium, and Rough Music. She has also written a memoir, Fugitive Spring.  She has received fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ms. Digges currently lives in Massachusetts, is Associate Professor of English at Tufts University, and teaches in the M.F.A. Program at Sarah Lawrence College.

Aubade for the Executioner    Click to hear in real audio

There are some truths for whom, since their conception,
the way is doomed,
so that the whole of their lives—
though they be lifted, it might seem,
out of themselves,
for a while, rescued—
possess one fate and one alone
which is to tear their way toward death,
go out tied down,
deaf to the voice requiring now acknowledgement,
something, some recognition.
Tied down, yes, tied, and deaf to it.
In such a death there is no ending, none,
and no resolve.
Only lapses like a wheel, forgetfulness.
Who touches the ache touches numbness against relief.
It is remembering with happy tears the worst of winters!
Such halls of want these luckless truths build!
Who can help but love them who taught restraint,
a stone lesson
to endure silence like an excess of suffering
until such suffering to love spills into dreams—
oh, when to hold, when not to hold them,
when not to meet their eyes.
What's chosen earnestly, by faith,
may be used in time against us.
Who can say how many or how few are buried in us.




Deborah Digges: Poetry
Copyright � 2000 The Cortland Review Issue 10The Cortland Review