By Muna Lee
Acres of mangrove, crowding the sea-streaked marsh,
Acres of mangrove, wading toward the beaches,
And here and there a milky-white bloom tossed
On fragile boughs above the flooded reaches.
Mangrove thrusts deep in salty mud,
Balances uneasily upon its three-pronged roots,
Huddles from wind in its dissonance of leaves.
Tempest and drought it has withstood,
This straggling orchard that bears no fruits,
This field where none will garner sheaves.
Sucking life up from the acrid marsh,
Drawing life down from the burning sun,
All the year offers of crude and harsh
There between sea and shore it has known.
Wave and glare, sea-urge, sea-drift,
It has been their victim, proved their power,
Persisting bleakly for one end alone—
Through an unheeded hour
Briefly, awkwardly, to lift
This frail, inconsequent flower.
My friend Annmarie, whom I met nearly 15 years ago in Star Trek: Voyager fandom yet have only seen in person a handful of times in the past decade and more, has a new job at Fort Belvoir, so for the first time we are living in the same area! She had Columbus Day off, so we went to California Tortilla and took a walk at Cabin John Park since the weather was yet again glorious (we saw no deer, probably since it was so early in the day and people were walking dogs, but there were plenty of squirrels and finches and a woodpecker). Then we decided we were in the mood for an Alan Rickman movie and I showed her The Search For John Gissing as part of my ongoing project to make sure all Rickman fans have seen that movie. I've seen Annmarie more in the past few months than I did in the previous three years, which is very nice for me!
Otherwise, it was a fairly uneventful Monday, with laundries in progress, weekend photos partially sorted, and e-mail partially answered. Adam stayed late at school to take a math test that he missed during a mandatory guidance session; Daniel finished Cory Doctorow's Little Brother, which he has really enjoyed. Paul decided we should have something Canadian for dinner in honor of Canada's Thanksgiving and settled on French toast with Canadian maple syrup, then we tried to watch Monday Night Football, but the start was delayed because of weather and the end ran too late for me to stay awake. Jon Stewart taking apart Carl Paladino's "family values" made for better watching anyway. Here are some photos of insects enjoying flowers at Longwood Gardens on Sunday: