The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Saturday and Maymont Mansion

Happy Hour
By Lee Ann Roripaugh

I always forget the name,
even though it was the flower

the hummingbirds
loved best. They came in pairs—sleek,

heads, the clockwork machinery
of their blurred wings
thrumming swift, menacing engines.

They slipped their beaks.
as if they were swizzle sticks, deep
into the blue

throat of delphinium and sucked
dry the nectar-
chilled hearts like goblets full of sweet,

frozen daiquiri.
I liked to sit on the back porch
in the evenings,

watching them and eating Spanish
peanuts, rolling
each nut between thumb and forefinger

to rub away
the red salty skin like brittle
tissue paper,

until the meat emerged gleaming,
yellow like old
ivory, smooth as polished bone.

And late August,
after exclamations of gold
flowers, tiny

and bitter, the caragana
trees let down their
beans to ripen, dry, and rupture—

at first there was
the soft drum of popcorn, slick with oil,
puttering some-

where in between seed, heat, and cloud.
Then sharp cracks like cap
gun or diminutive fireworks,

peas catapulting skyward like
pellet missiles.

Sometimes a meadowlark would lace
the night air with
its elaborate melody,

rippling and sleek
as a black satin ribbon. Some-
times there would be

a falling star. And because
this happened in
Wyoming, and because this was

my parents’ house,
and because I’m never happy
with anything,

at any time, I always wished
that I was some-
where, anywhere else, but here.


My Friday had several nice surprises. We didn't get as much rain as was forecast in the morning, so I got to go for a walk in the park. The repair people not only steam cleaned the carpet in the upstairs bedroom closet, but the entire bedroom, so it's the cleanest it has been since older son was about 6. And Karen and Jim were unexpectedly available for dinner, so we went to the Yard House, which has lots of inexpensive happy hour appetizers including many vegetarian options -- the food was very good and we hadn't seen them in ages, so that was lovely!

There were new Pokemon released in PoGo today too, but I haven't caught them yet, though I confess I started a new account for raiding -- it's reached level 21 in 3 days. We got home in time for Agents of SHIELD, whose timelines have me confused but at least May is getting tons to do, then we caught up on Cloak and Dagger (so dark and violent, though I appreciate that they're doing a decent job with the Voudon practices) before Graham Norton with Octavia Spencer and Will Smith. Here are some photos from Maymont of their casual, accessible decorating style:









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