Saturday, September 19, 2015

Poem for September

Saint Francis and the Sow
     by Galway Kinnell

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as Saint Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the sheer blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

After the first week of school

Today, Sunday of Labor Day weekend, I heard a neighbor at our front door and suddenly looked at what I was doing: it was 1:26PM and standing still in my pajamas, I was making school lunches for TUESDAY.  I hid.

Let's just say the first week took me by storm.

I was prepared for most things: both school supplies and classroom supplies from the lists; kid angsty-ness that might rise up, daily lunches (sort of prepared for this), the new bus times, back to school zucchini bread (best zucchini bread ever), mimosas with the neighborhood parents etc.

As it turned out, there's been no child angst: both kids have left each morning with a spring in their steps, early to the bus each day.

What I must not have been ready for was myself or the rest of the week and moving parts.  I'm still not sure what happened but I fell out of the week on Friday with my head spinning and in a toxic state.  There were some hormones involved, yes, and this is a time of mass transition which historically I feel to the bones, yes.  I also went to Maeve's first preschool opened house (she is a little person who can say things like "I felt a widdle nuh-vuss" and not a baby, it turns out), and fevers systematically flattened each of us for a day or two throughout the week.  Though backpacks were organized, there were still several mornings of being able to find only one shoe, and the lunches seemed to take all morning for me to pack.  My sister was in town just this week which meant swallowing a lot of first-week-of-school-mother-guilt and leaving for a Redskins game and dinners and a day trip to the bay.  And then she left, which, as usual, left has left me aimless and wallowing, at least for today.

So today I stayed in pajamas.  My excuse was Silas, who has the fever now.  We stayed home from church and sat on the couch for hours reading an E. Nesbit story in our pajamas (parts of which I am still wearing here at 9:05PM and will likely sleep in again) until lunch.  Eventually Maeve took a nap and in a moment of calm, I found myself making lunches -- like readying armor -- to stay ahead of the week.  It felt pretty normal until the guy across the street knocked on the front door suddenly exposing my two-day-ahead-lunch-making neurosis with his very presence. Fortunately, Ben fielded the visit, I stayed in the kitchen (and the lunches are done and in the fridge).