Sunday, February 24, 2013

Poem for Sunday and Columbia Mall

A Fairy Tale
By Jennifer L. Knox

When my father was nine years old, his mother said, "Tommy, I'm taking you to the circus for your birthday. Just you and me, and I'll buy you anything you want." The middle child of six, my father thought this was the most incredible, wonderful thing that had ever happened to him—like something out of a fairy tale.

They got in the car, but instead of driving him to the circus, his mother pulled up in front of the hospital and told him to go inside and ask for Dr. So-and-so. After that they'd go to the circus.

He went inside and asked for Dr. So-and-so. A nurse told him to follow her into a room where she closed the door and gave him a shot. My father fell asleep, and some hours later, woke up crying in agony with his tonsils gone. A different nurse got him dressed, and sent him outside where his mother was waiting in the car with the engine running. He couldn't speak on the way home to ask her, "What about the circus?" Days later, when he could, he didn't. They never mentioned it again.

Fifty-eight years later, he tells this story to his wife, his only explanation, when she asks him, "What are you doing home from church so early?"

He'd walked out in the middle of "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," never to return.


That poem blew me away the first time I read it. Knox's most recent book is The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway.

Quickie since we got back late after dinner out with Gblvr, Sharkie and various other friends at P.F. Chang's in Columbia -- we stopped in the mall afterward to see if the carousel was still there, since we haven't been inside the mall since our kids were young enough to ride it.

Otherwise Saturday was relatively quiet, mostly involving chores plus a bit of writing. Now we are watching 3:10 To Yuma, since Paul had never seen it and I am in the midst of my promised "Christian Bale Makes Movies With The Cast of Les Miserables Film Festival" (next up, next week: Terminator Salvation).

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