Again a Solstice
By Jennifer Chang
It is not good to think
of everything as a mistake. I asked
for bacon in my sandwich, and then
I asked for more. Mistake.
I told you the truth about my scar:
I did not use a knife. I lied
about what he did to my faith
in loneliness. Both mistakes.
That there is always a you. Mistake.
Faith in loneliness, my mother proclaimed,
is faith in self. My instinct, a poor polaris.
Not a mistake is the blue boredom
of a summer lake. O mud, sun, and algae!
We swim in glittering murk.
I tread, you tread. There are children
testing the deep end, shriek and stroke,
the lifeguard perilously close to diving.
I tried diving once. I dove like a brick.
It was a mistake to ask the $30 prophet
for a $20 prophecy. A mistake to believe.
I was young and broke. I swam
in a stolen reservoir then, not even a lake.
Her prophesy: from my vagrant exertion
I'll die at 42. Our dog totters across the lake,
kicks the ripple. I tread, you tread.
What does it even mean to write a poem?
It means today
I'm correcting my mistakes.
It means I don't want to be lonely.
I spent a very nice day with Paul, Cheryl, and Robert, the latter of whom came to DC to see Kiss Me, Kate at the Shakespeare Theatre Company with Douglas Sills and Christine Sherrill. First we had lunch (quiche and stollen) with Adam, who was off to an all-night movie marathon with friends, then we went downtown, walked through the US Navy Memorial (see photos), and saw the show, which was terrific -- very high-energy, great dancing, great singing, lots of humor, generally a delight for a show whose lyrics I've known all my life!
We walked through the Downtown Holiday Market on the way back to the car -- lots of food, lots of crafts, enough of a crowd that we managed to behave and not buy anything -- then we drove back to the suburbs and went to Grand Fusion for dinner, where we mostly shared Chinese and Thai veggie food. After the Richmond friends went home, we watched the end of the Eagles-Cardinals game -- a great day except I just found out that Jeanne, a longtime friend whom I met at a Star Trek convention in the mid-1990s, died over the weekend.