The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday and Congressional Aquarium

A Calculus of Readiness
By Liz Waldner

I, too, come from the city of dolls.
A small palm is my umbrella.
This takes care of above
but below, the blind river of sadness rolls
on and in it, a hand is always reaching up
to pick fish from the night-time sky.

The lines on the palm of the hand lure a trout
with a strand of hair from the head of a doll.
The bait is the hope for a hand on your brow.
Shadows play on the wall. Or the face of a doll.
The plants eyeing each other
is all.

I would not call the stars generous.
They don't cry enough for dolls to play Drink Me.
They don't cast a covenant's fishy rainbow
yet leaf faces watch the open window
where they hang far and hard.
The rein of starlight a second hand

with which to play Go Fish.
Now give me a hand, plants. Now give me
good-night, stars.


That poem made me think of Doctor Who's "A Christmas Carol." Also, it has fish, and our major activity for the day was a stop at Congressional Aquarium, given that it was cold and windy and we had plans to be out for much of Tuesday so wanted older son to finish up his college essays, plus I had a lingering headache from too much sodium on Christmas, so we postponed going to the cryptologic museum at Fort Meade. Even so, I actually had a very successful Monday, starting with UPS delivering a Vera Bradley coin purse I won in an online contest that I'd forgotten about entering. When we went out, I got a new big Vera Bradley bag as well -- I wanted one large enough to carry my camera and Kindle together, and Tiara Galleries had them at 50% off -- plus we stopped at Old Navy, which still had fleece tops in lots of colors on sale for $4 and penguin pyjama pants on sale for $5. Here are a few photos from the aquarium, which also has an open koi tank, lots of underwater plants, and a reptile room:


When we came home, I looked over son's college essays, where I made the mistake of suggesting that he list for one school things he liked about a specific program, such as "great labs, excellent robotics professors, and hot chicks," and son left those precise examples in his final draft when he sent it back to me. One of us obviously fails. After dinner we had intended to watch some Monty Python but got distracted working on the essays and ended up leaving on the entire Falcons-Saints game, about which I had a dilemma because I like the Saints but I want to Falcons to dominate the NFC in the playoffs so a certain other team with a bird mascot doesn't. The Saints just scored but I need to post this so I can get to bed, and the last three minutes of football time can take 20 minutes of TV time!

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