By Norman Dubie
The snow lifts into the beards of sycamores.
Laura says with some nervousness
that the tracks over the snow
are divisible only by their sum and zero.
An owl, leaving its cedar bough, laughs. I laugh.
She breaks a stick, says that a brazen mathematics
of stars in the illustrated night
is signaling its approval to us.
I say, "Oh, really, and which stars are these,
Childlike, with a sigh, she points and whispers,
"That little blue one, in Orion,
just beyond the stomach
of the hunter and his trapezium.
What do you think, how many wars
in our new millennium will reach
their natural conclusions, and blink?"
Okay, I know I have done nothing but bitch and moan all month, pretty much, but it really HAS been that kind of month. This lovely Monday morning I woke up with complete laryngitis -- very painful sore throat and couldn't say a word aloud, which, as I said last night, was probably my own fault for overdoing it and going to both a Yule ritual and movie yesterday, but it was a wonderful day and I have no regrets. An hour after I hauled myself out of bed, older son's school called -- he was in the health room with an upset stomach again, could someone please come pick him up? So I had older son home all day while I wrote four, count 'em, four articles, one more than I was assigned but I was excited to have found out that G4 was acquiring Star Trek syndication rights before it was all over fandom, and it's a damn good thing I did because I suspect I will get very little done tomorrow.
This is because younger son, having come home and done his homework and written a hilarious piece on his field trip last week, went over to a friend's house where he was invited to stay for dinner and at some point in the early evening, the two of them were using the sticks on these little plastic flagpoles as fencing weapons, and son's friend accidentally stabbed son in the cheek...to make a long story short, he required five stitches, which means he required novocaine, which means there was much trauma and screaming and child who had to be comforted at 10 o'clock at night, which means the laundry did not get folded until a few minutes ago -- the dryer appears to be working so long as we put everything on permanent press rather than high heat, knock wood and thank heavens for small favors -- but all this means I am so dead I can barely hold my head up. Have told apaulled that he is not allowed to get sick, as three out of four people incapacitated is quite enough. Besides, he already had my cold before I did.
Since I know I often gripe about how my kids give me tsuris, I shall post younger son's report on his field trip to Seneca Schoolhouse Museum from last Tuesday. It's a perfect delight to read, I think, even if you are not the mother of the writer. *g*
A Day in a One-Room Schoolhouse
Okay. I wondered how much trouble a ten-and-a-half year old boy could get into for putting a fake mouse in the teacher's desk. We were about to read the Bible in the morning at Seneca Schoolhouse, when the teacher opened her desk to get it. I gulped hard. Before I tell you that, though, my name is George. I am a ten-year-old boy. It is May 14, 1884. I am about to be in the most trouble in the world! The teacher screamed. I was wondering what would become of me when she explained her Bible was missing.
She soon slapped herself on the forehead; it was ON her desk, not in it. She closed the desk drawer as the mouse fell out. She asked many people, "Who did it?!" Then she asked me. By the way, my teacher's name is Miss Draptellus. Miss D. asked again and I admitted it. I was lucky she only put me on the dunce chair, yes -- she could have used the rod. After what seemed like a day, she excused me to my desk.
At the end of math, it was lunchtime. Nothing I had would appeal to you, so I won't bother to explain why or what I had. After lunch, I went to recess. It was a bright, sunny day. I noticed Miss D. was writing a note addressed to my father. I walked gloomily out the door. Recess ran a long while, until 3:30, because Andrew was climbing trees and got stuck on the roof right after the branch to get off snapped in two.
For 30 minutes, we had an extremely hard spelling test. When school was over, I had completely forgotten why I was so unhappy before. Then my teacher handed me a note and told me to give it to my father. I wondered what would happen.
A side note: son told me the day of the field trip that the boys beat the girls in the spelling bee and he was the only student who spelled "locomotive" correctly. This is because his mean, evil mother made him miss SpongeBob the week before to drill him on his spelling words, even though he insisted that he knew them all already, which was not precisely accurate at the time he said it. Heh.
schemingreader, I will get your beta to you tomorrow -- I must lie down before I fall down. And there is some chance that one or both of my children will not be at school all day tomorrow (I have already decided that if one cannot go to Hebrew school, neither is going, as I am not dealing with that carpool if they aren't both going to be in class!) I need to cancel son's orthodontist appointment for Wednesday as opening his mouth widely will interfere with the stitches. Hopefully in the morning I will have at least a little bit of a voice.
A sunken ship surrounded by giant deep-sea creatures! Oh, fine, not really, but sometimes I would like to have an aquarium just for the pirate booty and tall ship ornaments, even if all the fish were goldfish.