By Elana Bell
We have put up many flags,
they have put up many flags.
To make us think that they are happy.
To make them think that we are happy.
Everywhere, in the fertile soil of this land,
we've planted flags. Flags sprout like the hair
from an old man's nostrils. Blue and white
or red, black, green and white, they shroud
windows, standing in for a family
you can't see: a flag instead of the mother
who hums and spices the lentils, a flag
for father, who runs the blade against his cheek
each morning with the rooster's kukuku.
Later, in the dark, he holds his wife
while the children sleep wrapped in flags.
Flags grow in the garden, flags from the beaks
of muted birds. Shredded flags drape phone wires,
flags hang from the pines like dead hands—
Tuesday was Daniel's 24th birthday, though I only talked to him via Google Messenger because he had work, then game night with birthday cake, so it sounded like he had a good day. Mine was too -- I did some shopping, then met perkypaduan for lunch at Yuan Fu (vegan Chinese) where I have not been in far too long. Maddy needed a ride to the mall just when I needed to go to the post office behind it; that's where I was when a Snorlax hatched inside the mall, so I joined the local raid group and caught it.
I stopped to get cat food and raisin bran on the way home, though I did not fold laundry because I'd bought some fairy lights earlier at A.C. Moore and had to arrange them in bottles when I got home. After dinner, we put on the Nationals game, which was not a happy experience, but at least the Nationals have clinched their post-season spot, whereas the Orioles, already out of contention, lost to the Pirates by an embarrassing margin. Here are some photos from Lewis Ginter's butterfly exhibit and summer gardens: