By Deborah Digges
To the curator of the museum, to the exhibition of fathers,
to the next room from this closet of trousers
and trousers, full sail the walnut hangers of shirts,
O the great ghost ships of his shoes.
Through the racks and the riggings,
belt buckles ringing and coins in coat pockets
and moths that fly up from the black woolen remnants,
his smell like a kiss blown through hallways of cedar,
the shape of him locked in his burial clothes,
his voice tucked deep in his name,
his keys and the bells to his heart,
I am passing his light blue seersucker suit
with one grass-stained knee,
and a white shirt, clean boxers, clean socks, a handkerchief.
From Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch in The Washington Post. Digges, he says, "has been a keenly observant poet, a walker in the country, one of nature's intimates." He finds her "both tender and ruthless -- a furious cherishing -- in the way she looks hard at things." Of the poem above, an elegy to her late husband, Hirsch says, "I love the way Digges takes maritime imagery...and applies it to a man's closet, all the while jerry-rigging a kind of music that builds to full sail." Here's another excerpt from Digges' poetry that's in Hirsch's column, from "Trapeze":
See how the first dark takes the city in its arms
and carries it into what yesterday we called the future.
O, the dying are such acrobats.
Here you must take a boat from one day to the next,
or clutch the girders of the bridge, hand over hand.
But they are sailing like a pendulum between eternity and evening,
diving, recovering, balancing the air.
Note to sailing fans: read the poem. Happy belated birthday
Yesterday we took my older son's friend Omar with us to Maryland Day and discovered that he would rather get tickets to win silly prizes than see science demostrations, so we spent more time in the central fair-type area than looking in the underwater tanks or at the experiments, and we never got to the animals on the working farm at the agricultural school as we usually do. Given my headache this may be just as well, but I will miss seeing them for a year now. We also bailed on the football practice as the kids wanted ice cream and we needed to get home for my in-laws and the party.
Anyway the school was gorgeous, lots of trees in bloom (which I suspect also did not help my headache), and we saw the "Fear The Turtle" race car, and an exhibit on Mars in Hornbake Library where I once taught a class, and some anime...my younger son thinks "Dokkoider" is meant to be pronounced "Dork-lighter" so I now have a mental image of Buzz Lightyear crossed with Sumeba Miyako no Cosmos Sou Suttoko Taisen Dokkoider which is quite amusing. Oh, and the University of Maryland mascot:
Since I was out most of the day and out of it all night, I missed the entire draft...am hoping my team didn't make too many silly decisions.