By Kwame Dawes
For August Wilson
No one quarrels here, no one has learned
the yell of discontent—instead, here in Sumter
we learn to grow silent, build a stone
of resolve, learn to nod, learn to close
in the flame of shame and anger
in our hearts, learn to petrify it so,
and the more we quiet our ire,
the heavier the stone; this alchemy
of concrete in the vein, the sludge
of affront, until even that will calcify
and the heart, at last, will stop,
unassailable, unmovable, adamant.
Find me a man who will stand
on a blasted hill and shout,
find me a woman who will break
into shouts, who will let loose
a river of lament, find the howl
of the spirit, teach us the tongues
of the angry so that our blood,
my pulse—our hearts flow
with the warm healing of anger.
You, August, have carried in your belly
every song of affront your characters
have spoken, and maybe you waited
too long to howl against the night,
but each evening on some wooden
stage, these men and women,
learn to sing songs lost for centuries,
learn the healing of talk, the calming
of quarrel, the music of contention,
and in this cacophonic chorus,
we find the ritual of living.
Just like Saturday, it rained nearly all day Sunday. We had plans to spend it in Hanover celebrating Paul's father's birthday a weekend late because my father-in-law was sick last weekend, which we did with Adam, who arrived at our house after 1 a.m. after the Portugal. The Man concert at the Anthem and drove up with us in the morning (Maddy had to work). We went to Lu Hibachi Buffet for lunch, then, since it was raining, we walked around Black Rose Antiques & Collectibles at North Hanover Mall.
After Adam went back to College Park, where he had dinner plans with friends, we stopped at the food store, made sandwiches, and watched the Winter Olympics closing ceremonies. Of course NBC aired them all out of order the way they did with the skating exhibition the night before, but they were visually spectacular and Johnny and Tara only talked too much about half the time. Now we're watching Last Week Tonight because we have really missed John Oliver all these months.