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

Poem for Sunday and Brookside Gardens


The Kindness
By Jan Beatty

Banff, Alberta

The mother elk and 2 babies are sniffing
the metal handle of the bear-proof trash bin.
I remember the instructions for city people:
3 football fields of space between you &
the elk if their babies are with them.
I’m backing up slowly,
watching the calves run into each other
as they bend to eat grass/look up
at the mother at the same time.
The caramel color of their coat,
the sloping line of their small snouts &
I want to hold that beauty,
steal it for me,
but I’m only on football field # 2 & walking
into the woods past the lodge pole pines.
Their fragility, their awkward bumping
opens me to a long ago time—
              a hand on the door,
              I was walking in
to the psych hospital in Pittsburgh,
feeling broken and stripped down—
              a hand on the door
              from around my body
& I looked up to see the body
of a man, who said:
Let me get that for you—
              a hand on the door
              & the bottom of me
              dropped/
I couldn’t breathe for the kindness.
I couldn’t say how deep that went
for me.
I had been backing up, awkward/
I had been blind to my own beauty.

--------

Saturday was a very nice albeit fairly cold day, so after a quiet morning and lunch, we went to Brookside Gardens to see the spring flowers blooming in the conservatory -- orchids, snapdragons, daisies, birds of paradise -- and we discovered snowdrops outside in the flower beds, surrounded by fields of geese. We stopped on the way home at Mom's Organic Market, which had insanely long lines -- literally wrapping around half the store, at least 20 minutes -- but we got our vegan food, so yay!

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Adam is here for our friends' Super Bowl party, having arrived this evening, which hopefully means he's missed the snow. We spent the evening watching The X-Files' VR episodes starting with the one William Gibson wrote from 1998 before son's second birthday, plus "The Unnatural" just because it's awesome. Adam has been telling us about lectures he's attended at NASA, which has a great internship program, and now he's going to take Maddy out for milkshakes while we watch the "news" on SNL.
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