Thursday, July 13, 2006

Poem for Thursday

About the Moth
By Michael Collier

If you think the dead understand silence,
then why do they light their hems

and burn in dresses? Why do they fan their wings
against screens and windows as if they wanted in?

Why do they show their wiry contraptions
dusty with age and almost useless?

They only want to wake us with their light
unraveled from upper darkness.

They only want to hear us speak our reassurances.
Love will conquer, the heart endures.

And when they’ve left — flames, dust —
and frantic — we want them back,

not the friends and parents they once had been
but their new presences, sharp, unequivocal,

buoyant in their crossing back and forth,
inhabiting the condition they’ve become.


Wednesday morning my father took older son fishing. There were a few complications (such as the fact that he didn't realize there was no hook on the line), so they didn't catch anything, but older son was amused enough to go back and demonstrate for the rest of us and I got some nice pictures of dragonflies by the pond, though the only fish I saw was spotted by younger son swimming disinterestedly near the dock. It was quite warm, and parents had already suggested taking the kids to the pool, so they did that, and by the time they all got back it was lunchtime.

None of us wanted to go to the beach in the midday heat, so and I took the kids to Sea Shell City in Fenwick Island, home of the DiscoverSea Museum. This is a very fun store with a free museum upstairs with salvage from English, Spanish and American shipwrecks including the RMS Repubic and La Nuestra Senora de Atocha -- plus a few inevitable Titanic souvenirs -- and more interestingly, Native American and American Revolutionary War artifacts found in local waters. Last year when I posted about this, I got e-mail from the woman who co-owns Sea Shell City asking why I had no photos of the hermit crabs and shell souvenirs from the store downstairs, so this year I made sure to take photos of the store as well as the museum.

In the late afternoon we went to the shore, which was magnificent -- air temperature in the high 70s, water chilly but not as cold as yesterday and quite rough, just the way I like it...the kids built sand castles and dug for creatures at the water's edge while I went in deeper, since I really love big breakers and there were not a lot of people in the ocean. My father came and met us there since my mother had gone shopping. In the evening an Elvis impersonator, Jesse Garron (Elvis' dead twin), was playing on the Ocean City boardwalk. My father's leg was bothering him and my mother had heard that there was a chance of rain, so they decided not to go with us and stayed back to watch Rent.

I will skip today's rant about the relatives, as it is just more of same -- manipulating the kids into doing what parents want instead of what we and the kids originally wanted, refusing to give me any privacy despite vanishing for an hour to go to a furniture store and then being annoyed that we didn't wait for them to go to the beach, etc. We took the kids to hear Elvis in the sand and they built a giant sand turtle during the concert. We also walked up to see the religious sand art that's always by the Ocean City boardwalk and got ice cream. Then, after a couple of stops in hippie clothing stores, we came back to Sea Colony and went for a walk on the beach with flashlights to see ghost crabs, of which we found many!

Noah's Ark in the sand. It looked nearly identical last year -- I wonder how much upkeep is necessary daily?

Elvis impersonator Jesse Garron and his backup girls performed at the bandstand on the beach by the Ocean City Boardwalk.

After seeing the Bible sand art, this is the sea turtle my kids sculpted out of dry sand while listening to "Elvis."

The lower level of Sea Shell City in Fenwick Island is a fabulous kitschy beach store and sea shell emporium...

...while the upstairs is a shipwreck museum with information about local wrecks, pirates, ships, superstitions, etc. Here for instance are bottles brought up a 1700s wreck, 18 of which still had rum inside.

And one learns useful things like this.

A ghost crab peeks out of its hole...

...and scuttles along the sand well after dark. We brought flashlights so we could look for them on the dunes at 10 p.m.

Thursday the forecast is for rain at some point. We are planning to go to Nicola's Pizza in Rehoboth for dinner for Nic-o-bolis, and hopefully it will be nice enough to walk on the boardwalk a bit. If it rains during the day we might see POTC:DMC!

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