In the Back Seat of History
By Mary Biddinger
We lived in Gettysburg like vagrant
prospectors, driven by the scent
of knees and a profound love of dimes
if by dimes you meant knees, and we
were always kneeling before
one altar or another, making sacrifice
as you called it. Your trunk was full
of coffee filters and insoles.
Somebody stole your brother's bike
and that was all the reason needed.
We broke our melon the old
fashioned way, which is to say
not at all. You'd kneecap that bastard.
I knelt in front of you kneading
the last few pages of John Donne's
Holy Sonnets like an exquisite loaf
of historically-derived rye.
When I got to the end I wasn't sure
if breathing was polite, or necessary.
Later I stood in the alley
wearing red tatters of high school.
Our motel was packed with the cry
from a broken television,
the kind that lived between your ribs.
We spent most of Saturday in Hanover visiting Paul's parents, who seem much improved each time we visit them. It's been about five weeks since Clair's stroke, and while he still has speech issues, it's clear that his memory hasn't been impaired (and he can recall what's going on with the Red Sox). We brought in pizza, watched some baseball, and enjoyed the six bunnies chasing each other all around their backyard.
There was a thunderstorm while we were eating lunch and we drove home in alternating drizzle and bright sunshine. When we arrived, there was a rainbow over our neighborhood. We had veggie tacos for dinner, then watched 99 Homes, which was very good and very depressing, a thematic sequel to The Big Short but much more depressing in tone. Michael Shannon gives a terrific performance; at first I thought he was channeling Javert, but he's actually Thenardier.