Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Poem for Wednesday

The Letter
By Amy Lowell

Little cramped words scrawling all over
   the paper
Like draggled fly's legs,
What can you tell of the flaring moon
Through the oak leaves?
Or of my uncertain window and the
   bare floor

Spattered with moonlight?
Your silly quirks and twists have nothing
   in them
Of blossoming hawthorns,
And this paper is dull, crisp, smooth,
   virgin of loveliness
Beneath my hand.

I am tired, Beloved, of chafing my heart
The want of you;
Of squeezing it into little inkdrops,
And posting it.
And I scald alone, here, under the fire
Of the great moon.


This morning my husband took our older son to school at the usual time, while I took our younger son somewhat later, as he had a bathroom emergency just when it was time to walk out the door. This is the second day in a row the boys have not gone to school together, since the older one had an early field trip yesterday. As we were walking, the younger one asked me when he and his brother would be in school together again after this year -- they are three years apart, the older one will be going to middle school next year, and not the neighborhood school as he was accepted into the math/science magnet program. Without thinking I said, "ninth grade," which may not even be true -- it's possible that either one of them could end up at a magnet high school -- and at the same time it hit me that saying "ninth grade" to a second grader is rather equivalent to saying "when you're an adult." It's a million years away. Then he asked if they would go to college together, and I explained that I wasn't sure, because my sister and I did not go to the same college.

And I got really sad, because it's obvious that he was asking this question with regret. My sister and I were not at all close growing up (I was a geek, she was a pommie, and we were four years apart in school -- I was careful to try to plan my second child so that my kids would be no more than three years apart, not that life always lets one control that). But my two sons are very close, so much so that they play together at recess when the second and fifth grades are out at the same time, along with their friends, and there's a big crossover list for their birthday parties of boys who come to both. They have walked to and from school together every day since the younger one started public school, with the exception of a couple of sick days and yesterday because of the field trip. That is all going to change in the fall, when they're in different schools.

As it turns out there was no crisis this morning because my younger son's best friend's mother came driving by, taking her son to school, and asked if my son wanted to ride with them, which of course he did. (For those who have been reading this journal for awhile, this is the boy from Venezuela whose mother works at the embassy, who was supposed to move back last summer, thus causing great grief and consternation among both my children who are very close to him, and then two months later the Venezuelan government asked the mother to return to work in the U.S. and the little boy turned up grinning on our doorstep, having moved a block away from where he had lived the previous two years.) Both my kids have had a large number of friends not born in this country, a function of living our neighborhood, which I love, but they've also had several traumatic cases of friends moving away...and in these cases the kids were moving to Japan, New Zealand and Mexico, not two states away where there was some chance of visiting.

Meanwhile I've tried writing to the friends from New Zealand, but the e-mail address they left when they moved doesn't work anymore and they had said they'd write with their address once they were settled...and we haven't heard from them. I am trying not to take this too terribly personally; I know they have moved several times for career reasons, and during the last six months they were here I felt that the mother of my son's best friend, with whom I'd been friendly, though not actually really close, was deliberately distancing herself from me, which I would probably find necessary too if I were moving halfway around the world, though perhaps I simply did something that irritated her (or perhaps she holds my president against me; I wouldn't blame her). But I feel terribly for my son, not having any way to put him in touch with the boy who was his best friend for three years. He's coping well with this, and unlike two years ago when he refused to consider attending a magnet school because they would have been separated, he's willing to go to the middle school next year because a couple of other kids from his math class were accepted. But I'm still sad about that too.

I don't think I realized until recently how many permanent situations I maintained the feeling were temporary. My sister and I are never going to live in the same house, nor likely the same state, again, and we haven't since 1984 for all pracatical purposes; yet I still feel like any morning I could wake up and fight with her about the breakfast dishes. My college roommate and I are never going to share an apartment and I haven't even spoken to her on the phone in a month but I still keep thinking I'm going to see her this afternoon or the next and catch up on everything. And there are things I think to remember to tell my grandfather who died in 1990.

If had not pointed this out I would never have known about it, the news being all over the British press but not appearing in one U.S. newspaper that I have found thus far: "Disney Blocks Anti-Bush Film by Michael Moore".

And while I have Michael Moore on my mind, the below gacked from Muccamukk:

I am an Intellectual

Which America Hating Minority Are You?

Take More Robert & Tim Quizzes
Watch Robert & Tim Cartoons

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