The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

Family Reunion
By Jeredith Merrin

The divorced mother and her divorcing
daughter. The about-to-be ex-son-in-law
and the ex-husband's adopted son.
The divorcing daughter's child, who is

the step-nephew of the ex-husband's
adopted son. Everyone cordial:
the ex-husband's second wife
friendly to the first wife, warm

to the divorcing daughter's child's
great-grandmother, who was herself
long ago divorced. Everyone
grown used to the idea of divorce.

Almost everyone has separated
from the landscape of a childhood.
Collections of people in cities
are divorced from clean air and stars.

Toddlers in day care are parted
from working parents, schoolchildren
from the assumption of unbloodied
daylong safety. Old people die apart

from all they've gathered over time,
and in strange beds. Adults
grow estranged from a God
evidently divorced from History;

most are cut off from their own
histories, each of which waits
like a child left at day care.
What if you turned back for a moment

and put your arms around yours?
Yes, you might be late for work;
no, your history doesn't smell sweet
like a toddler's head. But look

at those small round wrists,
that short-legged, comical walk.
Caress your history--who else will?
Promise to come back later.

Pay attention when it asks you
simple questions: Where are we going?
Is it scary? What happened? Can
I have more now? Who is that?


I was awoken absurdly early, again, by jackhammers. Which were still working around 5 p.m. when apaulled got home from work. It was loud and annoying enough that I went out to do terribly fun things like buy younger son new pants for Rosh Hashanah since he somehow managed to rip his good dress pants sliding across the floor dancing at the Bar Mitzvah. To my regret, I remembered that the suit was bought at Hechts, and Hechts is now Macy's, and Macy's boys' dress pants are all nearly $40 and don't even match his suit which is a Van Heusen that apparently no one in the local malls carries anymore...having determined that I couldn't match the jacket and pants color exactly, I called my mother and asked whether taupe would go acceptably since not one store had a pair of gray slacks in his size, and she said it would be all right, so son is wearing a blue suit coat, taupe pants and a lighter blue shirt for the High Holy Days and that's that!

After school I did exciting things like taking younger son to violin, then picking up older son and going to pick up the replacement Kirby made by the woman who did our Bar Mitzvah centerpieces that he was heartbroken over when someone walked off with it. This one does not have a stick up its butt back to put in a decoration, but has a hook for the back so we can put it on his wall. Crisis averted. She has a 14-year-old Balinese cat with extremely beautiful blue eyes that younger son loves and asked to visit, so I took photos so he could see her whenever he wanted and hoped our cats would not be jealous. Of course, the beautiful blue eyes suffered from typical animal-eye flash problems:


And speaking of animals, I saved a few of the Steve Irwin tribute articles from this morning's Washington Post for posterity. They are here, here and here though I bet everyone's local paper had some version of these in much of the world today. We watched the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice early this evening on cable and really enjoyed it, though I don't think it's nearly as good as the miniseries; it's not the fault of the actors, all of whom I enjoyed (though I must admit that I suspect no Darcy will live up to Colin Firth's for me). Keira was very good in what was left of her role after all the cuts made to make a two-hour movie, while Donald Sutherland barely had enough screen time to get much sense of Mr. Bennett, and with the exception of Jane, the sisters were largely forgettable -- I wasn't even sure whether the girl who played Ada in Bleak House was supposed to be playing Lydia or Kitty until quite a ways into the movie. And Rupert Friend's Wickham was utterly forgettable, looked like an Orlando Bloom wannabe...ah well, I did like Tom Hollander's Collins and Judi Dench as always was wonderful -- I don't think they cut her part much!

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