The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday and Arboretum Mother's Day

Survey: Phototropes
By Eleni Sikélianòs

The snow falls, picks itself up, dusts itself off
a sparrow flying like a leaf back up to its tree
The future does a backbend toward you, it's
what you can almost see, scrimmed
in the clouds which crowd the sky, elbowing, laughing

After that I see space and its influence in a bucket of spinning water
and two calcium atoms shoot forth, twinned photons traveling

back to back, arms unlaced, perfect
swimmers in the lit dusk

Where are they going?

First, to Holland, then
to calcium-kiss her bones

And in Holland the streets are made of water, the dolls & dogs gather
   round lit picnic tables like happy rags

The body is in the root cellar

When snow falls our dead gather close to our bones
because the cold's ghost has come back to haunt the cold & the body,
too, is a happy rag

Tree, take a photograph of her thought, you can do it
with photosynthesis: silhouettes of seals appear, a swarmed planet and its satellites, a
   celestial atlas that breaks when tapped (it's glass)
Some giraffes, some elephants, a lion scatter
in the clearing; in the clearing

the leaves of the world turn toward the light as do the letters of the word
the words are beautiful not for their accuracy but for their dream:
words-are-arrows that loop between no-man's-land and the wetlands, soft
flints flying toward their target

—words bird the zone—

when home was adopted as mother
area was given here
[a future of] all surface, no border


I had a very nice Mother's Day with my extended family in the afternoon after sleeping late in the morning while Adam was working at Hebrew school and my parents were at the post-Bar Mitzvah brunch of longtime family friends. We picked them up, then went to meet Paul's parents in College Park, where we also retrieved Daniel and went to the National Arboretum. The azaleas are long past peak -- the hillside color is pretty much gone -- but the weather was gorgeous, it was much less crowded than when we tried to visit two weeks ago, and we saw an oriole:


We went out to dinner at the IHOP in College Park -- I had a cheese omelette, pancakes and hash browns, plus Adam made me chocolate mint cookies for Mother's Day and I had a couple of those when we got home. (My parents gave me a necklace, Paul gave me the 2000 Les Miserables miniseries with Depardieu and Malkovich on DVD, yay!) After taking Daniel back to school, we watched Once Upon a Time (better than the past couple), then caught up on the Nikita (pretty good) and Smash (put it out of it misery already) we had missed over the weekend.

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