The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

Nocturne I
By W.S. Merwin

The stars emerge one
by one into the names
that were last found for them
far back in other
darkness no one remembers
by watchers whose own
names were forgotten
later in the dark
and as the night deepens
other lumens begin
to appear around them
as though they were shining
through the same instant
from a single depth of age
though the time between
each one of them
and its nearest neighbor
may include in its span
the whole moment of the earth
turning in a light
that is not its own
with the complete course
of life upon it
born to brief reflection
recognition and anguish
from one cell evolving
to remember daylight
laughter and distant music


This will be a rather cranky entry, I'm afraid. Some of you may recall my lengthy rant some months ago about the idiocy of public school health class requirements and scheduling. When we left things, the administration had promised to set things right for Daniel as soon as they were able, then everyone involved promptly went on vacation and never returned my calls. Fast forward to Daniel's first day of school, when -- big surprise -- he learned that he is scheduled to take health and not chamber choir, even though this may mean that he can't travel with the choir in the spring to the county and state performances and even though it means he has eight solid study courses. He is being a good sport about it -- he apparently had a good first day of school, despite not getting the calculus teacher he wanted -- but I am really furious.

Meanwhile, Adam has been complaining off and on for the past couple of days that one of his ears was bothering him, and this afternoon he came home saying that it hurt. I called the pediatrician, who said she could squeeze us in, so I was not really surprised (though also not really thrilled) to have to wait 45 minutes beyond the appointment time for her to tell us it looked like swimmer's ear, which we already suspected, and to prescribe antibiotic ear drops. What I wasn't expecting was for the pharmacy nearest my house first to put the doctor on hold for ten minutes, then to disconnect her after saying they would transfer her to the doctors-only line, and so on until nearly half an hour later, the nurse who took the phone from the doctor was able to call in the prescription. Then, two hours later when I went to pick it up, the pharmacy from which we have purchased untold dozens of medicines over the years announced that they didn't have our insurance information or address in the system, so I had to fill out paperwork and wait some more for them to adjust the price!

Speaking of waiting for things, here are some of the dozens of signs that lead the weary traveler to Wall Drug Store in South Dakota (all photos taken through the window, so sorry for splotches, discolorations and blur):


In the evening, after finishing their homework, the kids wanted to watch Jon Stewart's convention coverage, which I must admit was very funny. Then we left on Stephen Colbert, who was even funnier commenting on the Fox TV coverage ("When I make up words to put in Michelle Obama's mouth, I find what she says very offensive!"). Watched the highlights of Bill Clinton's speech -- thought it was great, he said all the things about Obama that the McCain people were insinuating Hillary must not believe because she didn't say -- and I liked seeing Biden's mom, though I really don't like speeches with chant-along sound bites, not that I will complain if Biden's help get Obama elected. If the voting public only wants sound bytes, I'm all for the Democrats coming up with good ones.

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