The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday, The Fountain, Cardinals

By Craig Morgan Teicher

          I feel like Emily Dickinson did, running her pale finger over each blade of grass, then caressing each root in the depths of the earth's primeval dirt, each tip tickling heaven's soft underbelly. I feel like Emily alone in her room, her hands folded neatly in her lap, waiting forever for one of those two daguerreotypes to embalm her precious soul.

          At my most attuned, the present is a pair of wings stretching forever in all directions, flapping calmly, calmly flapping. But as soon as I notice how happy I am, how close to the sun, there I go plummeting into the background of the same damn painting as ever.

          If I could reach my hand out to you now, would you take it? How do you think it would feel? Warm and soft and certain? Or like Emily's: clammy and brittle as hardened paste? Is that not how you imagine her hands? Look again--they were like that, otherwise she could never, would never, have written those poems.


Teicher is the author of To Keep Love Blurry. This poem is from

It's feeling like...well, July, hot and muggy with periods of rain. My father came looking to have lunch with Daniel in the late morning and we all ended up going to Bagel City, where I had intended to take the kids anyway since we needed bagels and spreads. Then we came home and I folded laundry and watched The Fountain -- the movie in which I first realized Hugh Jackman could really act; previously I'd only seen him in big action films -- which remains extraordinary.

It was drizzling by the time I took a walk, which soon turned into actual rain, though I saw three bunnies hiding under bushes and a deer in the woods. We had quesadillas for dinner, then watched PBS documentaries on the Statue of Liberty (an early Ken Burns film, and excellent) and Mount Rushmore and Borglum, who was quite an egotist. Here are some photos of the cardinal pair who frequently appear on our deck, much to the chagrin of our cats:


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