Blue Pitcher, Empty and Full
By Kevin Prufer
You will use it for the flowers the others bring because he is dead.
Or you will use it for dark blue light, the arc of it when, the next evening, the
sun cries over the house and sends all the windows to the floor.
A trill of orchids wilts over the rim. You will use them for perspective.
The petals fall when you’re asleep like petals in dreams, dying to stop.
You will use them for silence, when the room is a rumble of passing trains
and his picture rattles over the end tables.
"You'll use it for flowers," I said the other day, placing the blue pitcher on
the windowsill, turning it so it balanced there. The windows were cold
to the touch because it was almost winter and the wind blew from the lake.
When the relatives left, the house was a hush. The tracks bent into the
woods along the lake, the pitcher looking out the window like a great
I know you are reading this in the fragility of evening, when the rain
comes in from the lake and simmers over the house.
I know you are reading in the half light, your fingers covered with
flour, the oven on and a silence from the kitchen where the bread
The house juts over the lake on spindles. The pitcher paints a blue arc on the
floor. There is no one upstairs.
Though our street was pretty well plowed by Sunday morning, we had a pretty quiet weekend in deference to the snow. We had planned to meet my in-laws in Ellicott City to go to the train museum and some of the antique stores, but both of them have colds and we weren't thrilled at the prospect of looking for parking in potentially unplowed streets and lots, so we agreed to postpone. Other than a visit to the Bethesda Co-op for assorted organic stuff our Giant doesn't carry, we didn't accomplish a lot. I didn't even get the laundry folded.
A big chunk of amethyst in the room with the mineral and rock collections.
A display of shore birds in the New England habitats exhibit.
A fossil frog on display with the dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.
A model of a Boston shipyard during the era when the USS Constitution was built there.
Penguin courtship in the Antarctica IMAX film, which was preceded by an introduction to the theater and its sound system recorded by Leonard Nimoy.
The corridor leading to the exhibit hall hosting the Harry Potter exhibition, decorated with Hogwarts flags.
Little girls looking at bat toys through a gift shop window.
My parents invited us over for dinner, so we went -- I had a crab cake, younger son had a veggie burger, everyone else had hamburgers -- then we came home so younger son could record music for his orchestra playing test. We also watched the Grammys, where we were happy to see Stephen Colbert, very entertained by Pink's performance, reasonably entertained by Lady GaGa and Elton John, happy Beyonce had a good night award-wise, amused by the Michael Jackson tribute only because we still have our free Super Bowl 3-D glasses so we could see the effects such as they were, and impressed that Taylor Swift decided to conduct herself as a musician rather than a showgirl in the nearly-nonexistent clothes most young women present were barely wearing -- I am not particularly a fan of her music, though I got a kick out of her wanting to sing with Stevie Nicks, but I am impressed by how she conducts herself as a celebrity.
My kids may or may not have a two-hour delay tomorrow...the county hasn't told us yet. Sigh. Happy February!