By Sharon Olds
(Ruth Stone, June 8, 1915 - November 19, 2011)
And suddenly, it's today, it's this morning
they are putting Ruth into the earth,
her breasts going down, under the hill,
like the moon and sun going down together.
O I know, it's not Ruth--what was Ruth
went out, slowly, but this was her form,
beautiful and powerful
as the old, gorgeous goddesses who were
terrible, too, not telling a lie
for anyone--and she'd been left here so long, among
mortals, by her mate--who could not,
one hour, bear to go on being human.
And I've gone a little crazy myself
with her going, which seems to go against logic,
the way she has always been there, with her wonder, and her
generousness, her breasts like two
voluptuous external hearts.
I am so glad she kept them, all
her life, and she got to be buried in them--
she 96, and they
maybe 82, each, which is
of pleasure and longing. And think of all
the poets who have suckled at her riskiness, her
risque, her body politic, her
outlaw grace! What she came into this world with,
with a mew and cry, she gave us. In her red
sweater and her red hair and her raw
melodious Virginia crackle,
she emptied herself fully out
into her songs and our song-making,
we would not have made our songs without her.
O dear one, what is this? You are not a child,
though you dwindled, you have not retraced your path,
but continued to move straight forward to where
we will follow you, radiant mother. Red Rover, cross over.
My whole day was chores! I am attacking various things that need to be cleaned and organized and it is taking a ridiculously long time. (Today, for instance, I found the business section of the Hartford Courant from 1997 and neither Paul nor myself could fathom why we would have saved it.) I am finding lots of stuff to put on eBay or to give to AmVets or freecycle. If anyone is looking for particular Star Trek collectibles or would like random things like miniature Stargate and BSG posters, let me know. Anyone know what to do with an old Palm Zire? Meanwhile, Adam worked in the neighbor's yard when we weren't having a thunderstorm and got muddy.
It was a good day for cleaning because our cable was down for most of the afternoon -- both the TV and internet stopped working around lunchtime and didn't come back till the World Cup game was well underway (go Argentina -- the final will be a rerun of the one from our honeymoon in 1990 when Germany won while we were in Toronto). We watched the first episode of Extant, in which Halle Berry was good but a lot of the drama seems derivative of a bunch of sci-fi movies, then the season premiere of Endeavour, which was excellent (especially Roger Allam) except for all the dead bodies. Here are some photos from Great Falls on July 4th:
...and several herons were fishing as far away from them as possible.
We saw a snake by the boardwalk...
...and turtles in the canal.
This dragonfly decided to eat its lunch on son's shorts.
We also saw several Canada geese hoping to get a handout...
...and one buff goose who appeared to have run away from a farm!