Saturday, September 26, 2009

Poem for Saturday

Coffee & Dolls
By April Bernard

It was a storefront for a small-time numbers runner,
pretending to be some sort of grocery. Coffeemakers
and Bustello cans populated the shelves, sparsely.
Who was fooled. The boxes bleached in the sun,
the old guys sat inside on summer lawn chairs,
watching tv. The applause from the talk shows and game shows
washed out the propped-open door like distant rain.

It closed for a few months. The slick sedan disappeared.
One spring day, it reopened, this time a sign
decorated the window: COFFEE & DOLLS.
Yarn-haired, gingham-dressed floppy dolls
lolled among the coffee cans. A mastiff puppy,
the size and shape of a tipped-over fire hydrant,
guarded as the sedan and the old guys returned.

I don't know about you, but I've been looking
for a narrative in which suffering makes sense.
I mean, the high wail of the woman holding her dead child,
the wail that filled the street. I mean the sudden
fatal blooms on golden skin. I mean the crack deaths,
I mean the ice-cream truck that cruided the alphabets
and sold crack to the same deedle-dee-dee tune as fudgesicles.
I mean the raw scabs of the beaten mastiff, and many other things.


Still feeling rather icky, but I took it easy today so I really can't complain. Wrote a review of Next Gen's not great but reasonably entertaining "Power Play", did some reading, fought with the Post's Friday Sudoku. We had dinner with my parents and celebrated Daniel's 16th birthday, which is on Saturday -- my mother had threatened to get him socks and underwear if he didn't tell her what he wanted after many queries, so she hid money for him in socks and underwear. Daniel has a cold too (he had it first), so he has been sort of apathetic about this birthday, and we haven't had an easy time figuring out what to get him, either.

Fannish5: Name your five favorite fictional kids. Having Harry Potter oversaturation, so no Hermione (I'm not sure she deserves to make the list after book three, anyway).
1. Meg Murray, A Wrinkle In Time
2. Maria Jackson, The Sarah Jane Adventures
3. Lisa Simpson, The Simpsons
4. Bran Davies, The Grey King
5. Micah Sanders, Heroes

A girl dressed for the 18th Century Craft Fair at Mount Vernon last weekend.

The restored barn and stables at the pioneer farm.

The inside of the barn.

One of the chickens behind the slave cabin.

The interior of the slave cabin.

Cattle seeking a shady spot on a sunny afternoon.

The horses that work in the barn treading the grain.

Cooking in a cauldron by the Potomac River in a tent on the farm.

We came home from son's birthday dinner to catch the season premiere of Smallville, which now has three women I like and no Lana, plus Oliver, and Callum Blue and Brian Austin Green as apparent regulars, so that's all to the good. Not sure how I feel about a Zod storyline or Clark's self-imposed emotional exile, but I'm also figuring the latter won't last and the former will give the regulars something to do while they figure out how they're going to reconstruct the relationships. I'm more optimistic at the start of this season than I was the past couple of years, anyway.

After that, we watched Castle in the Sky, because we were in a Miyazaki mood and Paul had discovered that the library had it. I love the steampunk ships and the World Tree imagery, though I've never been able to place the film geographically (starts out looking like Wales but then there's a hurricane to the east) and the villain's just plain annoying rather than terrifying. The kids said they think it's better than Ponyo, though. Really, I love all of them.

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