The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday

The City of God
By David Baker

Now we knelt beside
the ruined waters
as our first blood,
our bulb-before-bloom,
unfurled too early

in slender petals.
Now we were empty.
Now we walked for months
on softer shoes and
spoke, not quite with grief.

This morning four deer
come up to the yard
to stand, to be stunned,
at the woods' edge
on their hoof-tips. Their

ears twist like tuners,
but they stay for minutes,
minutes more, while
we are shadows behind
windows watching them

nip at the pine bark,
nibble some brown tips
of hydrangea. It's
been a mean, dry winter.
The last time I prayed—

prayed with any thought
of reply, any
hope of audience—
I sat in a church
and the city smell

of lilac, fumes from
the bus line, filled me.
The joys of the body
are not the sins
of the soul.

Who knows
how many have come
to be with us? We
knelt, not as in prayer,
beside the toilet

and watched the first one
leave us utterly—.
They were deer. Now they
are fog.
Now the wind

pulls back though the trees.
We know it will
be this way always
—whatever fades—
and the dreadful wake.


Earlier this weekend we realized that this Sunday might be the last day we could get to the Maryland Renaissance Faire again this year, so we got up bright and early, since it was Shakespeare Weekend and we wanted to arrive in time for the 10:30 a.m. start of the marathon sonnet reading which went on at the Boars Head Tavern for most of the day, not only by faire actors but also members of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company and Maryland Shakespeare Festival. It was also ASL Performance Day, so there were sign language interpreters at most of the shows and service dogs visiting near the faire entrance. The weather was incredibly gorgeous -- barely 70 in the sun, with the leaves turning golden in the trees. We saw the Aerial Angels, two Hack & Slash shows, the O'Danny Girls, most of an abridged Don Quixote, Book I, the 2 p.m. joust, the Squire of the Wire, a bit of The Rogues (whom we heard all over Revel Grove), a bit of Hilby, and Fight School: Reloaded:

Sir Henry Clifford reading a sonnet in the Boar's Head Tavern. In honor of Shakespeare Weekend, all 154 sonnets were read.

The O'Danny Girls sing naughty traditional songs about misbehaving sailors and wenches.

Hack & Slash's Hack threatens Slash with certain death. All right, or loss of money.

Here is Sir Henry Clifford at the joust, capturing a ring with his spear.

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza contemplate rescuing maidens and avoiding paying to stay at the inn.

The Squire of the Wire, Michael Rosman, juggles knives while balancing on a board on top of a bowling ball on a rickety table...

...then walks out on a tightrope to juggle them over the crowd. The woman on the platform below him is interpreting the show in ASL.

One of the Aerial Angels performed acrobatics above the faire guests

Monday is parent visiting day at school; Adam has told me it's not necessary that I go, and I am torn because I have spent much of this weekend having e-mail exchanges with the administration, the PTA president and now a Board of Education member about Pro-Life Cupcake Day (and have also removed one person from my reading list online for lecturing me about Poor Dead Babies -- I will reiterate, if you are not tolerant of other people's personal beliefs that ending a pregnancy is sometimes necessary for medical, psychological, and personal reasons that you might never share, it is really not necessary for you to read my journal, because I have no tolerance whatsoever for having my personal beliefs labeled as murder). Happy Thanksgiving, Canadians!

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