By Eve Alexandra
They are everywhere--those sunflowers with the coal heart center. They riot
without speaking, huge, wet mouths caught at half-gasp, half-kiss.
Flowers she promises I’ll grow into, sweet gardener,
long luminous braids I’d climb like ladders, freckles scattered
across our shoulders in a spell of pollen. She’s sleeping there--on that table
with its veneer slick as a glass coffin. She’s fed us fiddleheads, the tine fists
of Brussels sprouts, cupcakes, even the broken song of the deer’s neck. Singing.
Flowers everywhere. In my bedroom chaste daisies and the vigilance
of chrysanthemums. Dirt under my nails, pressing my cheek to the shag rug
with its million fingers. You could lose anything: a tooth, Barbie’s shoe,
this prayer. She loves me. She loves me not. I stare at my reflection,
a posy of wishes. Morning glory, nightshade, tulip, rhododendron.
In this poem I would be the Wicked Witch and she Snow White. Waiting.
My father talks to me about their lovemaking. My mouth empty
as a lily. I try to remember the diagram. Which is the pistil?
Which is the stamen? Roads of desire circle our house: Lost Nation Severance,
Poor Farm. Branches catch the wings of my nightgown.
There is a crow and the smell of blackberries.
We had yet another gorgeous day in the DC area -- not as warm as Friday, but sunny and breezy -- so after getting older son to robotics, we drove nearly an hour to Piscataway Park, which was created by the Accokeek Foundation to protect the view directly across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon (there had been a plan to create a sewage treatment plant on the site). The park has an arboretum of native trees and wetlands by the water, where we hiked and saw a swimming beaver, plus superb views of Mount Vernon's rear porch from the riverside fishing dock.
We decided to go this weekend, though, to visit the National Colonial Farm, which currently has three lambs in addition to cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and a huge flock of Canada geese that have moved into an empty field near the tobacco barn. The sheep and cows were quite vocal and could be heard baaing and mooing all over the farm, and there was an enormous, sleepy pig in the mud snorting very loudly, plus several turtles living in the ponds within the park, and turkey vultures soaring on the very welcome breeze. And there were many daffodils in bloom.
Paul made sweet Moroccan stew for Purim -- with butternut squash, chick peas, potatoes, zucchini, raisins, carrots, and olives -- and we had raspberry hamantaschen. Then we watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, because we'd kept talking about it while watching the Matrix movies with the kids last week. I hadn't seen it in a decade and had forgotten both how awesome the special effects are and how much I love the women characters (and that Batman and many other movies swiped from it, too). So as long as I don't stress out Libya, it's been a very nice evening!