Gould, Mona. “Throw Back?” Outside the Box: The Life and Legacy of Writer Mona Gould, The Grandmother I Thought I Knew. By Maria Meindl. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2011. 62-63.

This poem has not been previously published. Mona Gould’s granddaughter-biographer has reprinted it from notes found in the Mona Gould Papers at Thomas Fisher Rare Book Room, University of Toronto Library. Meindl undertook the monumental task of organizing her grandmother’s papers for the library, and ultimately—and fortunately for us—produced her excellent biography.

Throw Back?

It’s really funny I can’t but think
As I loiter over the kitchen sink;
The beautiful places I’d like to go
And the interesting people I’d like to know.
But here I stay and putter and grouse,
The typical wife… in the typical house.

Back in the shades of my family tree
There must have been dozens like dutiful me.

With only a Gypsy here and there
Who wouldn’t stay put; and couldn’t wear
Aprons and s[m]ocks like a uniform
A Gypsy who hungered for strife and storm,
And took to the road when she felt the urge,
Whose mate was a stranger to neat blue serge
Who made her a bed on a bough or two
And slept far sweeter than housed things do.

Did I inherit this will to roam?
Or am I content with this small snug home? …
I would have been happier spared the strain
Of Gypsy blood that fires my brain
So on nights when the wind gets out of hand
I wouldn’t be fey … and stare and stand
Athirst for a miracle wild and sweet
To shake the tradition out of my feet.

And suddenly you’re at the door, my dear
And I’m quite content to stay right here!