Turn of a Year
By Joan Houlihan
This is regret: or a ferret. Snuffling,
stunted, a snout full of snow.
As the end of day shuffles down
the repentant scurry and swarm —
an unstable contrition is born.
Bend down. Look into the lair.
Where newborn pieties spark and strike
I will make my peace as a low bulb
burnt into a dent of snow. A cloth to keep me
from seeping. Light crumpled over a hole.
Why does the maker keep me awake?
He must want my oddments, their glow.
It was yet another magnificent fall day in Maryland and again we spent most of it outdoors -- first visiting Pennyfield Lock and Riley's Lock on the C&O Canal, along the Potomac River heading toward Tobytown and Poolesville, then at Homestead Farm picking apples and visiting the animals. There were herons in the ruined canal by Riley's Lock, where the Girl Scouts give tours of the lockhouse, and hawks over the ruins of Pennyfield House, a favorite fishing hangout of Grover Cleveland, now falling into ruin and being allowed to decay because of the exhorbitant cost of rebuilding. For the second day in a row I took nearly 100 photos; the afternoon light is so beautiful and the trees are in the earliest stages of turning, the color not dramatic yet but still so much green everywhere, without bare branches.
The people who run the farm do not seem to have any objections to children offering fallen apples to the animals that live there, like this goat.
And there are butterflies on the apple trees themselves...
...as well as bees, which thankfully were not very plentiful.
Stupidly, since it was a beautiful day, I wore cropped pants and now have bug bites around my ankles! But it was worth it!
We did not go to Kol Nidre services but stayed home and had family time after eating a big Mexican dinner; I think tomorrow's family service is about my limit after the past couple of months, not to mention for the kids. Tikkun's High Holy Days supplement was helpful...more so than I generally find my shul's regular services to be, though the family service tends to be low key and have sufficient music to keep me focused. In the evening we watched The Brothers Grimm because it was on Starz and we'd not seen it before; we all enjoyed it a lot, though we were counting similarities with the movie version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, even the cheesy werewolf; I loved Damon and Ledger as brothers and Napoleon rather than the scary creatures in the woods as the real villain. I was so disappointed that Jake (Heath) did not have to kiss Will (Matt) to revive him, though they came very close -- teases! At the very end, Starz showed a deleted scene extremely reminiscent of Prisoner of Azkaban's Whomping Willow -- I wonder whether Terry Gilliam is a Harry Potter fan.