The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Thursday, Shutdown Shut Down, and College Park


Pretty Polly
By Jane Springer

Who made the banjo sad & wrong?
Who made the luckless girl & hell bound boy?
Who made the ballad? The one, I mean,
where lovers gallop down mountain brush as though in love—
where hooves break ground to blood earth scent.
Who gave the boy swift words to woo the girl from home,
& the girl too pretty to leave alone? He locks one arm
beneath her breasts as they ride on—maybe her apron comes
undone & falls to a ditch of black-eyed susans. Maybe
she dreams the clouds are so much flour spilt on heaven's table.

I've run the dark county of the heart this music comes from—but
I don't know where to hammer-on or to drop a thumb to the
haunted string that sets the story straight: All night Willie's dug
on Polly's grave with a silver spade & every creek they cross
makes one last splash. Though flocks of swallows loom—the one
hung in cedar now will score the girl's last thrill. Tell
me, why do I love this sawmill-tuned melancholy song
& thud of knuckles darkening the banjo face?
Tell me how to erase the ancient, violent beauty
in the devil of not loving what we love.

--------

Everything I was going to say about today is overwhelmed by THANK GODDESS THIS BULLSHIT IS OVER plus pleasure that Cory Booker won in New Jersey, accompanied by rage at the millions upon millions of dollars that could have been used to feed our poor, take care of our veterans, educate our children, etc. etc. etc. The vote in Congress was 285 to 144 -- that is a huge majority, it means the vote could have been called days if not weeks ago and likely passed. Can we impeach Boehner, not to mention the nay votes for trying to force the U.S. not to pay its debts?

I am trying to think around this to other news...nice weather, local bunnies, college applications, some work mostly finished, some work barely started. We watched the Toy Story Halloween special because I love the idea of Halloween specials and I was not really in the mood for Arrow, will catch up later in the week; we watched Nashville because I was in the mood for country music but it was lots of talk and not enough singing, especially with the Red Sox and the news distracting me. Here are a few more photos from College Park last Friday:


The big block M (Maryland, not Michigan -- UMCP has had it for years!).


In the drizzle in front of the chem building.


Across the street from the soggy farm...


...and looking down at the swollen creek.


Inside the Jeong H. Kim building, which houses engineering offices and classrooms...


...where we heard the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Education (whom we met later with son) talk about the engineering school's programs.


Here is Daniel between the College Park Scholars banners...


...and here he is between us.
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