The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday and Cornell University

My Son's Father's Smile
By Sharon Olds

In my sleep, our son, as a child, said,
of his father, he smiled me—as if into
existence, into the family built around the
young lives which had come from the charged
bouquets, the dense oasis. That smile,
those years, well what can a body say, I have
been in the absolute present of a fragrant
ignorance. And to live in those rooms,
where one of his smiles might emerge, like something
almost from another place,
another time, another set
of creatures, was to feel blessed, and to be
held in mysteriousness, and a little
in mourning. The thinness of his lips gave it
a simplicity, like a child's drawing
of a smile—a footbridge, turned over on its back, or seen
under itself, in water—and the archer's
bow gave it a curved unerring
symmetry, a shot to the heart. I look back on that un-
clouded face yet built of cloud,
and that waning crescent moon, that look
of deep, almost sad, contentment, and know myself
lucky, that I had out the whole
night of a half-life in that archaic
hammock, in a sky whose darkness is fading, that
first dream, from which I am now waking.


This is not going to be an exciting week in this journal, recovering from one trip while preparing for another. Again Adam had the calculus symposium, then went running, after which he visited Maddy till late afternoon, came home to walk the neighbor's dogs, and went to cross country practice. Daniel had lunch with my father and played Wii Bowling with him while I was working on various articles and chores and stuff. I had no laundry to fold, so no excuse for watching a midday movie, though I did watch a new Mary Fahl video.

We had a Groupon for BGR that expired tomorrow, so we went there for dinner, minus Adam who was still running so we brought him home a veggie burger. I liked the Pope, worried about the Olympics, watched PBS specials on amusement parks and Diaghilev & the Ballets Russes (plus a bit of the Nationals loss and the Orioles victory), and was proud of Daniel who was chosen to be an undergraduate TA for the Scholars STS colloquium (a paid position) at UMCP next semester. Speaking of colleges, here are some pics of Cornell:


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