The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday, Homestead Farm, Mr. Popper's Penguins

Whose Mouth Do I Speak With
By Suzanne Rancourt

I can remember my father bringing home spruce gum.
He worked in the woods and filled his pockets
with golden chunks of pitch.
For his children
he provided this special sacrament
and we'd gather at this feet, around his legs,
bumping his lunchbox, and his empty thermos rattled inside.
Our skin would stick to Daddy's gluey clothing
and we'd smell like Mumma's Pine Sol.
We had no money for store bought gum
but that's all right.
The spruce gum
was so close to chewing amber
as though in our mouths we held the eyes of Coyote
and how many other children had fathers
that placed on their innocent, anxious tongue
the blood of tree?


Our plan for this weekend always included seeing Mr. Popper's Penguins, which was a favorite book of mine in elementary school and of Adam's long after me. We knew that the film would not be faithful to the book -- it's about a contemporary businessman who ends up with six penguins from his late father, not a house painter who gets one from an explorer and winds up raising twelve, and they don't become theater stars -- but it was quite fun anyway, with Jim Carrey doing an uncanny impression of a Gentoo penguin and lots of physical humor, including poop jokes as frequent as, well, penguins poop, plus delightful scenes with penguins in the Guggenheim Museum and the Central Park Zoo gift shop. The plot is silly and predictable (and don't go in when you're feeling feminist; the female penguin named Captain has a more independent life than Carrey's character's ex-wife or daughter, though Carrey himself is adorable trying to hatch penguin eggs). The penguins are utterly adorable even when they're CGI.

After the movie we went to Homestead Farm to pick blueberries, which are just coming ripe and haven't been picked over yet so there were a great many. It wasn't too hot or sunny and we saw lots of animals, not just the farm's sheep, goats, ducks, chickens, etc., but the birds, bees, and bunnies that live around the crops. In the evening I worked on various people's Father's Day cards and younger son went to the pool. We watched The Graham Norton Show to see Geoffrey Rush and Lady Gaga, though Gwyneth Paltrow tried hard to make it all about herself. I am very glad I watched, though, because while I disagree with Geoffrey that POTC4 is the best yet -- I guess he has to say that -- he did mention having seen the porn parody trailer The King's Piece (NSFW), which I had not previously known about. And I got this for my Kindle, which makes me happy.

Blueberries growing at Homestead Farm. The ripe ones fall off into your fingers when you touch them.

This young chicken had gotten outside the fence surrounding the coop, but when we got too close, it snuck back inside.

The warm weather made the sheep lazy.

And this goat appeared perfectly content to lounge on a concrete stair leading to the goat walk.

After the stinkbug infestation last year, the farm had to plant many young apple trees. They are producing smaller fruit this year.

The itty bitty ducklings of a month ago are turning into full-grown ducks.

Many bees -- of the honey, bumble, and carpenter variety -- were enjoying the flowers around the pond.

This beetle is very pretty but I suspect it's not a good thing for the farm's crops.

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