Breaking Across Us Now
By Katie Ford
I began to see things in parts again,
segments, a pen drawn against the skin
to show where to cut, lamppost through the stained glass
with its etchings of light against the wall —
it was the middle of the night. It was something we would tell no one:
The hospital roads with standing water, I drove quickly through,
saying, you won’t have to stay.
But then I left without you,
you whom I’ve felt missing all this time —
when I sat in the weeds of the yard, told to pull them
from the root, not to touch the wild trillium, tying knots in the daffodil stalks,
discontented. When I watched the scatters
of firs sway their birds out through my storm windows,
the tree itself now and no more,
I thought I needed belief — walking through the stubbed wheat grass
requesting everything that would undo me — the nearness of Christ,
abandon and devotion — no one has to teach me
my disobediences. No one sees
the shed I see now, its roof bent with snow, all of it
leaning south how it was never built.
The inches overcome it, but
the green wood darkens, oceanic and deep.
He might not wake up,
I thought that night —
I remembered the house I boarded in one summer
with a widower, his wife’s fabric samples left draped over
the arm of the unfinished chair. I could feel her eyes
in my own when I tried to choose
between them, almost, if the sun of the alcove
hadn’t faded them, the dust and his arms worn them.
The sky as stark as the first sheet laid down
after they took her body.
But on that night
while I waited, the clouds casketed the stars,
stars with no chambers or hollows, filling themselves
with their own heat how a hive quivers
to fill each crevice with itself,
how I have never been able.
I spent Monday catching up from being out of the house most of the weekend -- lots of e-mail, working on holiday cards, making some earrings as gifts, trying to keep cats off heating vents on one of the first really chilly days of the season. It was sunny enough that I felt like taking a walk after lunch and saw three deer on the path in the woods -- I'm pretty sure it's the mother and fawns we've been seeing most of the year, though now one of the younger ones is growing antlers. I can't believe Chanukah is already 3/4 over -- it doesn't even really feel like December yet.
Longwood Gardens' woods in the winter is less colorful than the summer, but still quite lovely.
The flower beds are empty; even the beehive in the treehouse is gone for the season.
As in previous years, the natural light show rivaled the holiday lights on the trees.
Outside of the du Pont house was a tree decorated with food for wild animals...
...though I wonder whether any dare approach when the lights on the tree beside it come on for the night.
Performers braved the cold outside the restaurant to perform for guests this weekend.
Despite the wind chill, it must have been above freezing, because the fountains were on.
The paths are beautiful lit by colored trees.
We watched the season finale of Boardwalk Empire, which was in some ways a relief though in others a letdown. I had been afraid it would end with a bloodbath or at least with bad news for various female characters, but nothing was resolved but the election (whose results I already knew, since Harding won in a landslide). Which is great for next season -- it means every character I really like will probably be back -- but what a low-key way to drop things, with no showdown between Jimmy and Angela, no showdown between Nucky and either Lucy or Margaret, no showdown between Nelson and...well, anyone. I'm all in favor of less violence on shows about mobsters and not insisting upon cliffhangers, but it all seems so anticlimactic! Just like the Jets falling apart against New England on Monday Night Football afterward.