Siblings and Half Siblings
By Jana Prikryl
We sisters had the Vondörfer hair,
pink with ripples and electrodes in the right places,
wavy orange stuff environing our faces.
We were lucky with our looks—decked
in matter—like everyone on earth.
That they divorced us well before my birth
and raised me in a faraway land of unicorns
and you in the Bloc, eating cabbage
and drinking Becherovka, now seems tolerable baggage
for these waves, which brandish so prettily. Yet just how
the old guys did it seems not too wide of.
Dare you to ask how he took our brother aside
between one alp and another on that
Austrian postcard and punted:
Where would you like to grow up?
Father had muscle enough to ask such a thing
of his only son and son had the stiff upper
to say: Yes, run me away from my mother
and sister. Did his yellow hair luff
in a gust as he stood there
turning the question around in his mouth?
Did he stare and pocket his fists?
It was, even to a twelve-year-old, obvious.
He said so, granted going West,
possessing what he'd soon get more of, belief,
a style of ampleness—not without doubt
but without the files of teeth
that make food of us from inside.
Thanks, then, to his head, gut, nerve
the four of us boarded a Lufthansa flight
and this poem is written in English, more or less.
But those were different times.
To marry and remarry and reproduce
bent you to the hoax; exeunt with care
and scrapes. We, sister, have our degrees
of pleasure and our tantrums when they fail to please.
From this week's New Yorker.
We went shopping on the morning of the first official day of my kids' spring break for new shoes for Adam, who had destroyed what was left of his old Merrells walking around New York in the pouring rain. Then we went to Bagel City, needing sustenance after the strenuous task of shoe shopping (not to mention breakfast for the next couple of days). In the afternoon, Adam was supposed to have a make-up tennis lesson for the snow day last month, but the teacher ran very late and only one other player showed up, so he ended up having a semi-private lesson with one of the pros, which was very nice for him. Meanwhile Daniel caught up on all the Pokemon Platinum he missed playing while in New York, where his favorite thing was not the cruise, the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, or even West Side Story, but Nintendo World.
Choir singers were rehearsing inside, so I couldn't go in, but here's a glimpse of the rose window through the window.
The stained glass in the nave is much more dramatic...
...as is the stunning cathedral ceiling...
...and the rear of the vast open space.
What a place for students to get to sing!
Here they are exiting after their performance.
And here is the exterior of the gorgeous building, seen from Grant's Tomb in the fall.
We watched Heroes, which I liked -- I've generally liked the heavily Noah-centric episodes, and I always like Hiro and Ando as comic relief, and any time Angela Petrelli shows up in tiger mode instead of sniveling mode it makes me happy. Then we watched the unpleasantness of the Michigan State-UNC NCAA championship, though I haven't really cared who won since Villanova lost. Anyway, the Orioles opened their season by beating the Yankees and that's more important! Adam broke a bracket on his braces while eating at Bagel City, so we must make a trip to the orthodontist on Tuesday, and Passover starts Wednesday evening, so I just hope I can get all my work done this week!