Yesterday my daughter sat on Santa's lap for the first time & had a little chat. In the course of this chat she revealed, also for THE FIRST TIME, that she would like Santa to bring her some new trains and tracks. HUH?! COME AGAIN?! I'm down with trains and tracks, but why weren't they on the lengthy wish list I was given a few weeks ago?! Apparently this is because X. is a sensible girl who doesn't want duplicate gifts! Unfortunately Target didn't have the wooden tracks & now it's a scramble to get them before Xmas morning. Wish me luck!
Imagine a smooth transition here.
Recently a new friend moved back to India despite my best efforts to steal her passport. Before she left I had lent her a book of poems by Claudia Emerson (I don't think there's any relation to that other famous Emerson guy), but she didn't have a chance to read it. So I'm posting two poems here for her benefit & for all poetry lovers out there in lj-land.
I was introduced to Claudia Emerson's poetry when I lived in Fredericksburg, VA, where Ms. Emerson resides. She teaches at The University of Mary Washington. I never met her, but after her book "Late Wife" won the Pulitzer, her face was all over the local media. Well, there was an article in the local paper and a display at the library anyway. "Late Wife" is something of a departure from her previous books, which focused on themes pertaining to southern, rural identity; it is an excruciatingly personal, but cool-headed, collection of poems narrating the demise of her first marriage & her eventual second marriage late in life to a widower. The two poems I have chosen to share are about framing, about moments in life that enable us to step outside ourselves to view the ways in which we have changed and been changed and continue to change. The first is from the first part of the trilogy entitled "Divorce Epistles" and the second is from the last and third section entitled "Letters to Kent."
Most of the things you made for me--armless
rocker, blanket chest,lap desk--I gave away
to friends who could use them and not be reminded
of the hours lost there, the tedious finishes.
But I did keep the mirror, perhaps because
like all mirrors, most of these years it has been
invisible, part of the wall, or defined
by reflection--safe--because reflection,
after all, does change. I hung it here
in the front, dark hallway of this house you will
never see, so that it might magnify
the meager light, become a lesser, backward
window. No one pauses long before it.
This morning, though, as I put on my coat,
straightened my hair, I saw outside my face
its frame you made for me, admiring for the first
time the way the cherry you cut and planed
yourself had darkened, just as you said it would.
The camera is trained on the door, no one
in the frame, only the dog sleeping. And then
finally, I see this was to surprise you,
filming your arrival, the dog's delight. Only now,
six years distant, can this seem scripted, meant:
the long, blank minutes she waited, absent
but there--behind the lens--as though she directs
me to notice the motion of her chest
in the rise and fall of the frame, and hear
to understand the one cough, nothing, the clearing
of her throat. Then, at last, you come home
to look into the camera she holds,
and past her into me--invisible, unimagined
other who joins her in seeing through our
transience the lasting of desire.