Turn of a Year
By Joan Houlihan
This is regret: or a ferret. Snuffling,
stunted, a snout full of snow.
As the end of day shuffles down
the repentant scurry and swarm—
an unstable contrition is born.
Bend down. Look into the lair.
Where newborn pieties spark and strike
I will make my peace as a low bulb
burnt into a dent of snow. A cloth to keep me
from seeping. Light crumpled over a hole.
Why does the maker keep me awake?
He must want my oddments, their glow.
We had planned to go to Mount Vernon on Friday, but certain people were moving like slugs in the morning, and by the time I got laundry in and lunch into everyone we decided that it would be better to postpone. So instead we went to Great Falls, where we had intended to replace the national parks pass that expired last month but it turned out that admission to the parking lot was free -- and not ridiculously crowded despite that fact and the fact that it was in the 50s. We went out to Olmsted Island, climbed a bit on the cliffside and walked a bit along the towpath, which is closed past the bridge for repairs.
We had dinner with my parents -- three lasagnas, one for the meat-eaters, one for the poultry-eaters and one for the vegetarians -- and came home to watch the season finale of Sanctuary, which I expected to end as a grisly cliffhanger and was pleasantly surprised at the resolution in every sense. Then we half-watched various bowl games; Oklahoma is beating Iowa in the current one, the Insight Bowl, which is not nearly as memorable a name as the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. We all think some plumbing manufacturer should sponsor the Toilet Bowl for the two worst teams in college football.