By David Lehman
He wrote the whole novel in his head,
Sentence by sentence. It took him all day.
Then he took out a wide-ruled yellow legal pad
With three pink vertical lines marking the left margin,
And from his breast pocket he extracted
A disposable plastic fountain pen,
And near the top of the page he wrote the word ODE
In black ink, all caps. For a few minutes he did nothing.
Then he skipped three lines and wrote,
"It was the greatest birthday present he had ever received:
The manual Smith-Corona typewriter
His parents gave him on the day he graduated from high school
After they took him to the Statler Hilton for lunch,
Where they had cold poached salmon, his father's favorite."
I have finished the family 2013 calendar! This has taken up every spare moment today when I was not out with my family, hence this will be a quickie. I had fun working on the calendar but I had even more fun at our other activity for the day, taking Adam and his friend Daniel W to the Nearly Naked Mile race in Reston Town Center. It was very entertaining to see the interpretation of "nearly naked," which included everything from a kilt to a toga to a jock strap over a flesh-colored bodysuit to a lot of short shorts. The race was a fundraiser for a hospital burn center, so the Fairfax fire department was giving out foam hats and selling leis to raise money (I got leid by a fireman, heh).
Adam ran the mile in under 5:30, which was his goal -- he was in the middle of the competitive group of men, followed by competitive women and then people not trying to run a mile in under 7 minutes -- but he strained a muscle already sore from a race on Friday and limped to Chipotle, where we bought the runners a late lunch. When we got home, I walked the neighbor's dog for Adam because he could barely hobble up the steps. Maryland lost so badly to Clemson that I'm not at all sorry to have missed the game, and the TV all evening has been tuned to other college football games but I've primarily been editing calendar photos on Shutterfly and shrinking these:
Adam finished well in the first group of runners...
...seen here just after the start, passing the yes-it's-already-a-Christmas-tree.
There were a wide range of interpretations of "nearly naked"...
...which included homemade togas...
...and a kilt, which went well with the tartan boxer shorts given out...
...and some people who apparently wanted to wear their Halloween costumes again.
The fact that there was a tent selling alcohol before as well as after the race probably contributed to the range of acceptable attire.
This was the bravest guy in the competitive men's race.