By Eavan Boland
The only legend I have ever loved is
the story of a daughter lost in hell.
And found and rescued there.
Love and blackmail are the gist of it.
Ceres and Persephone the names.
And the best thing about the legend is
I can enter it anywhere. And have.
As a child in exile in
a city of fogs and strange consonants,
I read it first and at first I was
an exiled child in the crackling dusk of
the underworld, the stars blighted. Later
I walked out in a summer twilight
searching for my daughter at bed-time.
When she came running I was ready
to make any bargain to keep her.
I carried her back past whitebeams
and wasps and honey-scented buddleias.
But I was Ceres then and I knew
winter was in store for every leaf
on every tree on that road.
Was inescapable for each one we passed.
And for me.
It is winter
and the stars are hidden.
I climb the stairs and stand where I can see
my child asleep beside her teen magazines,
her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit.
The pomegranate! How did I forget it?
She could have come home and been safe
and ended the story and all
our heart-broken searching but she reached
out a hand and plucked a pomegranate.
She put out her hand and pulled down
the French sound for apple and
the noise of stone and the proof
that even in the place of death,
at the heart of legend, in the midst
of rocks full of unshed tears
ready to be diamonds by the time
the story was told, a child can be
hungry. I could warn her. There is still a chance.
The rain is cold. The road is flint-coloured.
The suburb has cars and cable television.
The veiled stars are above ground.
It is another world. But what else
can a mother give her daughter but such
beautiful rifts in time?
If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift.
The legend will be hers as well as mine.
She will enter it. As I have.
She will wake up. She will hold
the papery flushed skin in her hand.
And to her lips. I will say nothing.
That poem makes me think of last night's West Wing for some reason. Martin Sheen made me cry again, dammit, even though I was somewhat bored with the episode -- bored enough to think Enterprise was actually pretty good -- and the Josh/Amyness made me run screaming into the kitchen for some candy corn. If I cannot have Josh/Sam or Josh/Donna or Josh/Leo or Josh/CJ or Josh/anybodybutamyplease, can I have Josh/celibate?
I should note that because I review Enterprise and watch TWW right afterwards, I cannot see Smallville on the night it airs, and will always be a day behind on comments and will undoubtedly never get back to remarks on my Friends' pages about the episodes. Apologies, and if you're only here for the minimal SV and want to un-Friend I won't take it at all personally.
Speaking of Enterprise: "Impulse" Review
My husband had an early meeting and I feel like I have already been awake for far too many hours, though I have accomplished far too little, as well. Much of the news yesterday slipped by me. Cubs: waah. Red Sox: yaay! Arnold: it's done, my ranting isn't going to change anything so those of us not in the state of California might as well wait and see what he does, since I doubt reading suggestions and diatribes from out-of-state citizens will be first on his agenda.
I had other Serious Things to say but I've forgotten them, as I am trying to juggle work and vacuuming. Instead, this news, and let it be a warning to all of you, heh heh heh:
Zap! You're a THUNDERSTORM. Your temper
comes fast and does maximum damage when
it does. Often you begin to grumble before you let your
anger out. Those who know you know to get the hell out of your
way when you start to get upset.
What DIRE WEATHER FORECAST do you turn into when you're angry
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