The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday

The Daughter Goes To Camp
By Sharon Olds

In the taxi alone, home from the airport,
I could not believe you were gone. My palm kept
creeping over the smooth plastic
to find your strong meaty little hand and
squeeze it, find your narrow thigh in the
noble ribbing of the corduroy,
straight and regular as anything in nature, to
find the slack cool cheek of a
child in the heat of a summer morning—
nothing, nothing, waves of bawling
hitting me in hot flashes like some
change of life, some boiling wave
rising in me toward your body, toward
where it should have been on the seat, your
brow curved like a cereal bowl, your
eyes dark with massed crystals like the
magnified scales of a butterfly's wing, the
delicate feelers of your limp hair,
floods of blood rising in my face as I
tried to reassemble the hot
gritty molecules in the car, to
make you appear like a holograph
on the back seat, pull you out of nothing
as I once did—but you were really gone,
the cab glossy as a slit caul out of
which you had slipped, the air glittering
electric with escape as it does in the room at a birth.


My day started with Paul calling to tell me that his car had overheated on the way to work. He took it to get it serviced, where they told him there was a coolant leak that involved the water pump and required the engine to be taken apart to fix. You know how I was saying yesterday that I thought we'd used up our mechanical bad karma for the month? HAHAHAHAHA! So, yeah, another $500+ down the drain. Ah well, when people ask us what we got each other for Valentine's Day, he can say he got me a clothes dryer and I can say I got him a new timing belt.

At least the day could only get better, which it did. cidercupcakes came over and took me out to California Tortilla (well, I drove, after she explained to me the virtues of angry driving), plus we got a bag of Dove Miniatures. Then we came back here and watched four episodes of Merlin, and it's hard to stay overly cranky while watching Merlin's early demonstrations of why Arthur affectionately calls him an idiot and discussing how Morgana should just come out and tell Gwen how she feels, already when she gets back from bending Uther over his period-anachronistic furniture.


In the afternoon I took Adam to tennis, where he had a substitute teacher he didn't much like, then we went to pick up Paul since he had no vehicle and came home to find Daniel. Dinner was an exercise in failure since Paul had intended to make chili with corn bread, only to discover that we had no eggs, so we had canned soup and frozen chicken nuggets instead. We watched Heroes, which now appears to want to be Battlestar Galactica when it grows up (and I do NOT mean that in a good way).

I am snickering quite a bit at the Badman and Rotten pairing with Sylar's new little boyfriend, and I see Nathan and Noah are back to being despicable, and wow, they've gotten rid of nearly all the girls, now the boys can go camping without distraction! Yet another show where, if my kids were not watching, I would happily stop. This is where Bryan Fuller went after the genius that was Pushing Daisies? Sigh.

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