By Weldon Kees
The porchlight coming on again,
Early November, the dead leaves
Raked in piles, the wicker swing
Creaking. Across the lots
A phonograph is playing Ja-Da.
An orange moon. I see the lives
Of neighbors, mapped and marred
Like all the wars ahead, and R.
Insane, B., with his throat cut,
Fifteen years from now, in Omaha.
I did not know them then.
My airedale scratches at the door
And I am back from seeing Milton Sills
And Doris Kenyon. Twelve years old.
The porchlight coming on again.
From Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World, which this week features Mary Karr's reflections on the suicide of her old friend David Foster Wallace and "the depression that's murdered too many literary titans...how could David's manic genius have gone as dark as this?" She "trolled my poetry shelves for the right words to grieve with...ultimately, this childhood snapshot by Weldon Kees, a poet and presumed suicide, captures the innocent melody of my early friendship with David, while permitting -- sandwiched in the center stanza -- some rage against adding his death to the planet's roster of horror."
We had a pretty low-key Saturday. After Hebrew school, we went to Great Falls because we had read that the C&O Canal towpath was so badly damaged by Tropical Storm Hanna that the new canal boat had been lifted out of the water and the canal drained to avoid any further damage. We didn't walk down far enough to see the part of the canal wall that was destroyed in the storm, but we saw the empty upper locks, the new boat up on concrete blocks, and displaced turtles further down in the stagnant water of the areas that hadn't been drained. We also saw dozens of herons flying over the Potomac River and fishing in it, including a relatively rare green heron, and helicopters either attempting a river rescue or practicing for one -- we couldn't tell which.
apaulled was in the mood for cheese fondue, so while I folded laundry and watched Penn collapse in overtime and lose to Villanova, he chopped fruit and bread and turkey ham and melted cheeses and we had a really delicious, not really low-calorie awesome dinner. He was also in the mood for chocolate chip bundt coffee cake, so we had that for dessert! The private school that's a couple of blocks from our house had a big fundraiser bash and barbecue tonight, so we got to hear jazz music through the open windows and the whole neighborhood smelled like barbecue. And there has been football on TV for most of the evening while I was cropping and posting these photos, but I couldn't tell you who was playing or who won or anything. *g*