By Kimiko Hahn
After skimming the Sunday Times, Dad turned to the back of the magazine
and tore out the crossword puzzle for his mother in Wisconsin—
as routine as my calligraphy class on Saturdays, flute practice
exactly twenty minutes on school nights
and astringent twice daily. I loved the idea of puzzles
but never tried my hand as problem-solving rubbed up against rivalry—
red velvet cake, red velvet dress, trilling—
because nothing was never enough and yet
more than a small rectangular lawn and the pulsing marsh beyond.
A puzzle might've been escape enough. A maze—instead of crossword?
No, cross words were our puzzles, after all. Although my sister and I adored
jigsaw pieces. Five-hundred. A zoo, I think. Giraffes, absolutely.
We spent a lovely day in Richmond, where there wasn't a cloud in the sky. After dropping Daniel off at Capital One's beautiful wooded campus, we went to the Metro Richmond Zoo, which was bigger than we expected and had many animals not in DC and Baltimore, including several endangered monkeys, lots of African and Asian mammals, and several baby giraffes and cheetahs. There's a tram ride through the African plains exhibit and a ski lift that loops over the entire zoo, both with great views, and visitors can feed several of the animals, including giraffes, camels, and parakeets!
We had plans to have dinner with Cheryl, but she had to work till early evening, so after Daniel was finished with his interviews, we went to the Pony Pasture Overlook on the James River to walk in the woods and along the water (see last photo above). There were geese, ducks, and cormorants in the water and lots of people walking dogs on the trails. Then we tracked down Cheryl at work and we all went to Mexico restaurant (again, since we all like it!) before driving home, where I belatedly remembered to post my review of Deep Space Nine's "Chrysalis" while watching the end of the Boise State game.