Roadside Attractions with the Dogs of America
By Ada Limón
It's a day when all the dogs of all
the borrowed houses are angel footing
down the hard hardwood of middle-America's
newly loaned-up renovated kitchen floors,
and the world's nicest pie I know
is somewhere waiting for the right
time to offer itself to the wayward
and the word-weary. How come the road
goes coast to coast and never just
dumps us in the water, clean and
come clean, like a fish slipped out
of the national net of "longing for joy."
How come it doesn't? Once, on a road trip
through the country, a waitress walked
in the train's diner car and swished
her non-aproned end and said,
"Hot stuff and food too." My family
still says it, when the food is hot,
and the mood is good inside the open windows.
I'd like to wear an apron for you
and come over with non-church sanctioned
knee-highs and the prettiest pie of birds
and ocean water and grief. I'd like
to be younger when I do this, like the country
before Mr. Meriwether rowed the river
and then let the country fill him up
till it killed him hard by his own hand.
I'd like to be that dog they took with them,
large and dark and silent and un-blamable.
Or I'd like to be Emily Dickinson's dog, Carlo,
and go on loving the rare un-loveable puzzle
of woman and human and mind. But, I bet I'm more
the house beagle and the howl and the obedient
eyes of everyone wanting to make their own kind
of America, but still be America, too. The road
is long and all the dogs don't care too much about
roadside concrete history and postcards of state
treasures, they just want their head out the window,
and the speeding air to make them feel faster
and younger, and newer than all the dogs
that went before them, they want to be your only dog,
your best-loved dog, for this good dog of today
to be the only beast that matters.
I got to spend Monday with Delta (and we both even got to sleep late, hee), though again I am behind on everything! We watched the Thompson-Winslet-Rickman-Grant Sense and Sensibility, then we went to California Tortilla for lunch, then to my synagogue's holiday boutique to look at crafts and jewelry and to say hi to my mother who was working there.
Then we came back to my house, fed the cats, and watched...oh, let's see who can guess what movie! When she left had dinner with my family and got a few chores done. We had the Maryland basketball game on, then the Steelers game, and now I am distracted from shouting myself hoarse at Huckabee on The Daily Show. Here are photos from our trip to the Brandywine Valley yesterday:
Chrysanthemums at the Longwood Gardens Conservatory.
Late autumn grasses in Longwood's meadow.
A goose swimming over fallen leaves in Longwood's lake.
The only remaining installation from Longwood's summer light display.
Thomas the Tank Engine and other model trains passing models of Longwood buildings at the train display.
Edgar Allan Poe illustrations at the Brandywine River Museum.
Myself, Paul and Delta in a mirror at Rockwood Manor...
...which we visited for a reading of Poe and Shakespeare poems and plays.