The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
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Poem for Sunday and Heritage Days


Man in Stream
By Rosanna Warren

You stand in the brook, mud smearing
your forearms, a bloodied mosquito on your brow,
your yellow T-shirt dampened to your chest
as the current flees between your legs,
amber, verdigris, unraveling
today’s story, last night's travail . . .

You stare at the father beaver, eye to eye,
but he outstares you—you who trespass in his world,
who have, however unwilling, yanked out his fort,
stick by tooth-gnarled, mud-clabbered stick,
though you whistle vespers to the wood thrush
and trace flame-flicker in the grain of yellow birch.

Death outpaces us. Upended roots
of fallen trees still cling to moss-furred granite.
Lichen smolders on wood-rot, fungus trails in wisps.
I wanted a day with cracks, to let the godlight in.
The forest is always a nocturne, but it gleams,
the birch tree tosses its change from palm to palm,

and we who unmake are ourselves unmade
if we know, if only we know
how to give ourselves in this untendered light.

--------

After the huge storms Friday night, Saturday was thankfully cooler -- only 91 degrees! I'm not entirely sure where the morning went, and at lunchtime we all went to take Adam to work at Glen Echo so we could picnic there while the 229th Army Band's Old Line Brass Quintet played in the Spanish Ballroom for Heritage Days. There are many Civil War commemorative events going on -- tours at Blockhouse Point, train exhibits -- and after we ate we went to Vienna, Virginia, where a group of reenactors had a living history encampment and where the Elkton Eclipse was playing the Chespeake Nine in a vintage baseball tournament using Civil War-era rules, meaning no gloves, only underhand pitches, and a ball caught after a single bounce gets a player out.


The Elkton Eclipse competed with the Chespeake Nine from Baltimore...


...in a baseball game using rules from 1864.


Apparently there is a Mid-Atlantic Vintage Baseball League which plays such games regularly.


This game took place behind Vienna Elementary School.


Historic Vienna Inc. had reenactors demonstrating the telegraph and Civil War era crafts...


...as well as food and drink for the baseball players.


We also heard music by the 229th Army Band's Old Line Brass Quintet...


...in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park.
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We went back to Glen Echo to pick up Adam and took him to walk along the C&O Canal where we went last weekend since he wasn't with us and we thought he'd want to take photos. It was later in the day and fewer animals were out showing off in the heat -- we didn't see the herons or snapping turtles, though there were red-eared sliders, bullfrog tadpoles, catfish, cardinals, dragonflies, and lots of songbirds. After dinner the kids had a friend over to play games, so Paul and I watched Water For Elephants, which was reasonably well acted, decently scripted (I did not read the novel), yet hard for me to sit through at times because I have a really hard time with people abusing animals even if I know it's fictional in a movie. The elephant was my favorite character.
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