By Robert Wrigley
We are at or near that approximate line
where a stiff breeze becomes
or lapses from a considerable wind,
and I like it here, the chimney smokes
right-angled from west to east but still
for brief intact stretches
the plush animal tails of their fires.
I like how the stiffness rouses the birds
right up until what's considerable sends them
to shelter. I like how the morning's rain,
having wakened the soil's raw materials, sends
a root smell into the air around us,
which the pine trees sway stately within.
I like how the sun strains not
to go down, how the horizon tugs gently at it,
and how the distant grain elevator's shadow
ripples over the stubble of the field.
I like the bird feeder's slant
and the dribble of its seeds. I like the cat's
sleepiness as the breeze then the wind
then the breeze keeps combing her fur.
I like the body of the mouse at her feet.
I like the way the apple core I tossed away
has browned so quickly. It is much to be admired,
as is the way the doe extends her elegant neck
in its direction, and the workings of her black nostrils, too.
I like the sound of the southbound truck
blowing by headed east. I like the fact
that the dog is not barking. I like the ark
of the house afloat on the sea of March,
and the swells of the crop hills bedizened
with cedillas of old snow. I like old snow.
I like my lungs and their conversions
to the gospel of spring. I like the wing
of the magpie outheld as he probes beneath it
for fleas or lice. That's especially nice,
the last sun pinkening his underfeathers
as it also pinks the dark when I close my eyes,
which I like to do, in the face of it,
this stiff breeze that was,
when I closed them, a considerable wind.
Another from The New Yorker. Wrigley's Beautiful Country will be released later this month.
Thursday was very quiet compared to Wednesday, which is all to the good. Paul worked from home because we knew we needed to go to the food store, and he neither wanted to drive in his overheating van nor take mine and make me drive his till we can get the AC fixed (hopefully next Tuesday). We had breakfast and lunch together and went to get milk, cereal, peanut butter, sharp cheese, and other necessities of life. Adam finally attended a photography class after putting up with three days of a software class he didn't want; he seems happier and the teacher seems really good, well versed in both digital and film photography and expecting them to do their own printing, dry matting, framing, etc. in the classroom on the very good equipment owned by the school. I am impressed!
We learned more about the photography teacher in the evening, when we went to Back to School night at Adam's high school...which was also my high school, and where I got to see my tenth grade math teacher who actually remembered me (she was one of my favorite teachers even though she taught trigonometry, in which I got a D the first quarter -- she had come to see me in a play at Glen Echo's puppet theater, my first real job). Adam's teachers all seem very good, particularly the chemistry teacher -- retired Navy with two toddlers for whom he is the primary caretaker, he works part-time -- and the theater teacher, who also teaches math and has the kids do improv exercises with numbers, though she just finished a seminar in teaching Shakespeare at the Folger and is very enthused about them acting Shakespeare. We saw lots of people we know, including the daughter of my parents' nearest neighbors who has a son there, our former next-door neighbor who has a son who's a junior, and the parents of many kids our kids have known for many years.
Here are both my kids from Manassas earlier in the year.