The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday

By Kevin Young

Now that knowing means nothing,
now that you are more born
than being, more awake
than awaited, since I've seen
your hair deep inside mother,
a glimpse, grass in late
winter, early spring, watching
your mother's pursed, throbbing,
purpled power, her pushing
you for one whole hour, two,
almost three, almost out,
maybe never, animal smell
and peat, breath and sweat
and mulch-matter, and at once
you descend, or drive, are driven
by mother's body, by her will
and brilliance, by bowel,
by wanting and your hair
peering as if it could see, and I saw
you storming forth,
taproot, your cap of hair half
in, half out, and wait, hold
it there, the doctors say, and
she squeezing my hand, her face
full of fire, then groaning your face
out like a flower, blood-bloom,
crocussed into air, shoulders
and the long cord still rooting
you to each other, to the other
world, into this afterlife
among us living, the cord
I cut like an iris, pulsing,
then you wet against mother's chest
still purple, not blue, not yet
red, no cry,
warming now, now opening
your eyes midnight
blue in the blue-black dawn.


From this week's New Yorker.

I don't have a lot to report from Tuesday except that Daniel got his SAT scores and they were excellent -- this is the first time he's taken the test, so we didn't know what to expect or hope for, and we were all delighted! It was the last day of the robotics build season -- the robot ships out tomorrow for the start of the competition season -- so he was at school till after 8 p.m. Adam came home usual time and worked on a penguin illustration for some sort of contest; he didn't tell me details but he did get me to scan and crop the image for him.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Roman Catholic church in the United States.

As the name indicates, this is a shrine to Mary in her role as patroness of the United States.

There are representations of Mary in many styles in the 70 chapels within the basilica.

As at the National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes at Mount St. Mary's, there are reproductions of well-known images of art.

Most of them are traditional to a specific era or culture...

...but the more unusual ones are my favorites.

There are also stunning stained glass windows and tile mosaics.

And in the cafeteria on the lower level is a stained glass representation of the basilica itself.

I was recording stuff for my uncle and ended up watching most of Something the Lord Made, which I had not seen in a couple of years...terrific movie and terrific acting even though Alan Rickman can't do a Southern accent much better than Kevin Costner can do a British one. I didn't know Vivien Thomas's story before the film and only the barest outlines of Alfred Blalock's. I also appreciate that it's local history, since a lot of the events take place in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins.

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