Wednesday, August 01, 2007

as-yet-untitled holiday verse

First thing. You are sturdy in your sundress
your bare shoulders newel posts
shiny from every cupped hand, every corner
turned. A month into this heat wave
all we want is rain. Oh and ripe tomatoes
and air conditioning and maybe a weekend
at the lake. But after two weeks away I need
an hour among the weeds.

It takes me two hours to find gardening gloves
and the courage. Oily bluebottle, you thrum
dissatisfaction from behind the screen door
as I set up your play pen
in a spot suitable for bare shoulders
your spot-lit marble imitations
of bare shoulders.

Next, a yellow milk crate
full of books and toys humped out
into the day; I hip-check the door shut
and your rage two-step your mewling
squawk is as foreign
as quotidian as falcons
hunting from skyscraper roosts
shedding pigeon scraps as commuters
shed napkins, tiny packets of salt.
Once we know they’re there, that is. Once
we’ve wondered at the intersection of falcons
and cities and cell phone towers.
Eggs and turkey bacon
and toast. Rye.

Forty minutes later. You are ephemeral
in your sundress even as you happily crow
and jaw ripe and almost overripe
strawberries into pulp and pits
and runnels of red red drool
as I stuff weeds taller than you
into a garbage bag each of them fireweed
after the blaze of two weeks
away and the slow burn of two summers
with baby.


Anita Daher said...

This is total stunningness...I lack the poet vocab, but wish to express: I love it, love it, love it!

Brenda Schmidt said...

I agree with Anita!

Ariel Gordon said...

Thanks, you two...I'll take 'stunningness' any day!

Though this IS a first draft...

Al said...

Hi there -- "bare shoulders newel posts" is woth the price of admission to this poem. And a brilliant two-word start. I'm hoping in future drafts stanza three will see some revision -- either by punctuation or line-break -- and some cleaning up of 'as'es as you go. Great job and all the best with re-writes between baby-times -- my daughter is three and I'm lucky when I get an hour in a week. Ciao