Friday, August 01, 2008

Poem for Friday

By Grace Paley

I needed to talk to my sister
talk to her on the telephone     I mean
just as I used to every morning
in the evening too whenever the
grandchildren said a sentence that
clasped both our hearts.

I called her phone rang four times
you can imagine my breath stopped     then
there was a terrible telephonic noise
a voice said     this number is no
longer in use     how wonderful I
thought     I can
call again they have not yet assigned
her number to another person despite
two years of absence due to death


From Paley's book Fidelity, published by Farrar Straus Giroux, republished in "Absence, Opera, Beans, Dreams", a selection of verse from new collections from The Washington Post Book World's poetry issue the week of April 20th.

I spent most of Thursday doing stuff with my kids -- watching them demonstrate things on the Wii Fit, having lunch with Gblvr and her kids at CiCi's (along with Paul, who wanted pizza buffet too), stopping with them at GameStop and HobbyWorks across the street from the restaurant, taking my kids to the pool, having dinner with my parents who are going to New York over the weekend to visit my uncle, e-mailing articles about animals doing funny things, and watching Star Trek: The Next Generation's "The Offspring," which is as good as I remembered.

Even better than I remembered: The French Lieutenant's Woman, which I last saw when I was about 15 and the movie was new. I didn't appreciate it then -- I disliked both incarnations of Sarah, thought she was selfish and cruel as Charles said, and now I am thrilled by this fabulous feminist character who insists on having her own life as an artist and an independent woman before she allows her obsessed suitor, who is having his own issues breaking away from Victorian propriety, to find her, or before she lets him go before their passion ruins both their lives, depending on which version of Fowles' ending one takes as canon. Getting to see Torbay and London and Windermere is wonderful too, as are Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons' brilliant paired performances -- this is one of my favorite Irons films, and though I don't always love Streep the way most critics do, she's wonderful in this.

We interrupt trip photos for a public service message from Daisy, who made a very frustrating cat-and-mouse discovery the other night.

An adorable little mouse comes at night to clean up spilled seeds from the bird feeder on the deck!

And due to infuriating glass doors between Daisy and the deck, she can't do anything about it!

Worse yet, a giant moth has decided to attack the kitchen door in the hope of flying into the light.

It has demonic red flashbulb eyes!

And there's no angle from which Daisy can jump off the table to scare it away!

No wonder she has to comfort herself by curling up and sleeping in the sink!

Silly kitten! The older cats resist such indignities. Until there's an aluminum foil ball.

News articles that entertained our family: in addition to the lost 44-pound cat in New Jersey and the golden retriever that adopted tiger cubs, not to mention the turtle-led marijuana bust, there was the Puerto Rico shipwreck discovery and Manny Ramirez moving west. Maybe now younger son will stop hating the Red Sox so much!


Anonymous said...

I like the poem - sad, but I know that feeling of wanting to hold on to anything you can when you lose someone you love.

Anonymous said...

Poor Daisy!