Friday, August 26, 2011

Poem for Friday and Rainy Zoo

Family Reunion
By Jeredith Merrin

The divorced mother and her divorcing
daughter. The about-to-be ex-son-in-law
and the ex-husband's adopted son.
The divorcing daughter's child, who is

the step-nephew of the ex-husband's
adopted son. Everyone cordial:
the ex-husband's second wife
friendly to the first wife, warm

to the divorcing daughter's child's
great-grandmother, who was herself
long ago divorced. Everyone
grown used to the idea of divorce.

Almost everyone has separated
from the landscape of a childhood.
Collections of people in cities
are divorced from clean air and stars.

Toddlers in day care are parted
from working parents, schoolchildren
from the assumption of unbloodied
daylong safety. Old people die apart

from all they've gathered over time,
and in strange beds. Adults
grow estranged from a God
evidently divorced from History;

most are cut off from their own
histories, each of which waits
like a child left at day care.
What if you turned back for a moment

and put your arms around yours?
Yes, you might be late for work;
no, your history doesn't smell sweet
like a toddler's head. But look

at those small round wrists,
that short-legged, comical walk.
Caress your history--who else will?
Promise to come back later.

Pay attention when it asks you
simple questions: Where are we going?
Is it scary? What happened? Can
I have more now? Who is that?


We were awoken very early Thursday morning by an aftershock -- there have been a few others, but this one rattled our windows and shook our beds, including Adam's who was sleeping at a friend's. So we were all rather tired when we got up early to go to the National Zoo, since who knows when we'll get to go there all together again; we took Adam's friend whom I joke is my other son since he's over here so often. It was drizzling when we left the house, but the rain wasn't supposed to arrive in earnest till afternoon, so we brought lunch with us.

We went first along the Asia trail, where the giant panda was awake but hiding behind a bush; then we went to the bird house, stopping to see the elephants along the way. It was drizzling again when we went to see the small mammals and started raining in earnest right after we visited the great cats, then it started pouring as we headed past the prairie dogs. We decided to have our picnic at home, but when we arrived, the storm had knocked our power out, so we ate on the floor in the living room surrounded by curious cats.

The giant panda has a snack at the National Zoo.

This rhea had several chicks in May.

Adam's friend waits for this meerkat to turn so he can take a photo.

Two cheetahs peer out of an enclosure.

Behind the glass of her enclosure, the sloth bear paces.

An elephant shows off for a trainer with rewards.

A burrowing owl perches in a branch to keep an eye on things.

And a golden lion tamarin does the same.

Adam had art class in the afternoon and we all went to pick him up so we could go get pizza at Vince & Dominic's, which Daniel had decided he wanted instead of Swedish meatballs (particularly since the lack of power at home for several hours made food preparation quite difficult -- I feel sorry for anyone who stocked up for Hurricane Irene before the outage). We did some packing and laundry, then watched The Return of the King. Eowyn makes me so happy in the extended edition, even if she and Faramir were both robbed of the Houses of Healing as it should have been filmed. I still adore these movies.

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