The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Yom Kippur

How Divine is Forgiving?
By Marge Piercy

It's a nice concept
but what's under the sculptured draperies?
We forgive when we don't really care
because what was done to us brought unexpected
harvest, as I always try to explain
to the peach trees as I prune them hard,
to the cats when I shove pills against
the Gothic vaults of their mouths

We forgive those who betrayed us
years later because memory has rotted
through like something left out in the weather
battered clean then littered dirty
in the rain, chewed by mice and beetles,
frozen and baked and stripped by the wind
til it is unrecognizable, corpse
or broken machine, something long useless.

We forgive those whom their own machinations
have sufficiently tangled, enshrouded,
the fly who bit us to draw blood and who
hangs now a gutted trophy in a spider's
airy larder; more exactly, the friend
whose habit of lying has immobilized him
at last like a dog trapped in a cocoon
of fishing line and barbed hooks.

We forgive those we firmly love
because anger hurts, a coal that burns
and smolders still scorching the tissues
inside, blistering wherever it touches
so that we bury the hot clinkers in a mound
of caring, suffocate the sparks with promises,
drown them in tears, reconciling.

We forgive mostly not from strength
but through imperfections, for memory
wears transparent as a glass with the pattern
washed off, till we stare past what injured us,
We forgive because we too have done
the same to others easy as a mudslide;
or because anger is a fire that must be fed
and we are too tired to rise and haul a log.


I spent most of Friday trying to maintain the peaceable kingdom among three cats not yet used to one another. Cinnamon has decided that she is no longer afraid of Daisy, which is good as she is no longer hiding in the basement, but it means that both Rosie and Cinnamon make their displeasure known when Daisy wanders anywhere they consider their territory, which is pretty much the entire house. So I spent a lot of time sitting on the floor petting one cat with each hand while another glared from across the room.

Wrote a review of "Conspiracy" (great beginning, bad bad bad ending) and the site columns (Poll: would you want to be buried in a Star Trek coffin?), then had dinner with my parents, who were going to Kol Nidre services (we, on the other hand, were coming home to watch Doctor Who, though I had seen "Utopia" on a computer screen over the summer, having been unable to wait for the three-part season finale). Then watched the Weekend at Bernie's episode of Flash Gordon again because it was there and the cats were all sprawled in the living room so there was no compelling reason to move!

fridayfiver: And that's the trouble with me
1. Who do you look up to?
Madeleine L'Engle.
2. What is the last thing you cleaned? My bathroom floor, which currently has a litter box.
3. Do you measure with a ruler or do you eyeball it? Eyeball unless it's really important to measure accurately.
4. What do people compliment you on? How committed my kids are to environmentalism and animal welfare.
5. What is behind you?</b> At the moment, a kitten with a stripey tail.

thefridayfive: Randomly Friday Five
1. Did you write a list to Santa when you were little? Do you write a Christmas present wish list now?
Considering that I'm Jewish, no and no.
2. What are the top 10 things on your list this year? People not treating Christmas like a universal global capitalist holiday, an end to the war in Iraq, a Democratic president in 2008, peace in Darfur, clean energy, legal gay marriage, federal protection for reproductive rights, homes for every child in foster care, homes for every animal in shelters, an end to restrictions on free speech on the internet. Oh, and I kind of want a laptop to enjoy the latter.
3. What are the three (or 1, 2, 4, 5) best presents you ever received as a child and why? A typewriter (yes, I am that old), a necklace that my grandparents got as a reward for volunteering at Deborah Hospital, a trip to New York to see Cats on Broadway.
4. What are the top 5 movies you think everyone should see and why? The Lion In Winter, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Dangerous Liaisons, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World. Because they're the first five awesome movies I thought of.
5. Which comes first, success or happiness? Or, to think of it a different way, does happiness follow success or are you only successful when you acheive happiness? Are they even necessarily related? Happiness IS success.

fannish5: What five fannish topics would you like to see more people discuss or write meta about?
It's fine with me if people want to slam one another in Fandom Wank, but when the wank takes over fandom as a whole, it's really no fun for those of us for whom the wank are not what it's all about.
2. How come our characters are better at conflict resolution than a lot of us are?
3. If people feel it necessary to rant, it would be nice if the ranting were about things like flagrant racism in the real world rather than theoretical racism in fanon.
4. How women writing slash sometimes say more misogynistic things than men writing Penthouse Forum fantasies.
5. Why do people read kinks that squick them, then complain in comments that the kink squicked them?

Canoes and kayaks...

Garden waterfall...

A closed chestnut...

An open chestnut...

A spiderweb...

...and the farm across the lake.

Services tomorrow. I expect that as usual I will be sinning in my thoughts in the middle of atonement. Sigh.

  • Poem for Wednesday and Fair Rabbits

    Three Dimensions By Man Ray Several small houses Discreetly separated by foliage And the night— Maintaining their several identities By light…

  • Poem for Tuesday and Pigs at the Fair

    After The Fair By Thomas Hardy The singers are gone from the Cornmarket-place With their broadsheets of rhymes, The street rings no longer in…

  • Greetings from the County Fair

    Sunday was nearly as nice a day as Saturday, so we went to the county fair with Kay. None of us is big on midway rides, but we saw lots of barnyard…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded