Sharon Olds was thirty-seven when she published her first book of poems, Satan Says (1980). Since then, she has been the recipient of many awards... Read more →
In the hallway above the pit of the stairwellmy sister and I would meet at night,eyes and hair dark, bodieslike twins in the dark. We did not talk ofthe two who had brought us there, like generals,for their own reasons. We sat, buddies in wartime, her living body the proof ofmy living body, our backs to the vastshell hole of the stairs, down whichwe would have to go, knowing nothingbut what we had learned there,so that nowwhen I think of my sister, the holes of the needlesin her hips and in the creases of her elbows,and the marks from the latest husband’s beatings,and the scars of the operations, I feel therage of a soldier standing over the body ofsomeone sent to the front lineswithout trainingor a weapon.“Indictment of Senior Officers” is from the book, Satan Says, by Sharon Olds, © 1980. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.
By Sharon Olds on