The Blue Pitcher

that which may be filled and emptied

Month: October, 2011

Gender Lessons

Eva: Look, mom. I’m pretending to be a boy.

Me: What do you mean? How are boys different than girls?

Eva: Boys eat celery and play horns.

Me: Oh, do they?

Eva: Yep. And girls play guitars.

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Sick Day

Evabird’s home sick so we’re still in our pajamas, reading poems and drinking Sprite and watching the slow, steady drizzle outside. I used to worry so much when she was sick. My heart would seize, and, measuring out eyedroppers full of medicine, I’d imagine all the ways I might lose her. This, though, is one of those popsicle-cured illnesses, so it just feels good to be lazy and warm and dry and have nothing to do but lick the sweet off our lips and wonder what we’ll do next.

Lake Echo, Dear

Lake Echo, Dear

By C. D. Wright

Is the woman in the pool of light   
really reading or just staring   
at what is written

Is the man walking in the soft rain   
naked or is it the rain   
that makes his shirt transparent

The boy in the iron cot   
is he asleep or still
fingering the springs underneath

Did you honestly believe   
three lives could be complete

The bottle of green liquid   
on the sill is it real

The bottle on the peeling sill   
is it filled with green

Or is the liquid an illusion   
of fullness

How summer’s children turn   
into fish and rain softens men

How the elements of summer
nights bid us to get down with each other   
on the unplaned floor

And this feels painfully beautiful   
whether or not
it will change the world one drop

C. D. Wright, “Lake Echo, Dear” from Steal Away: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2002 by C. D. Wright.

(;)

In the classroom in my mind, I stand up on desks and throw erasers and spout out poems that I learned by heart when I was twelve, but really I think, I sit a lot more and fumble with the A/V equipment and, only occasionally, shout out things like, can’t you see how beautiful the semi-colon is? Look! It lets you put cake and towers and love in the same sentence; it lets you keep going; it lets you stop; it lets you want to do both at the same time even while also wanting cake; and LOVE!; and beautiful, I say again, only half-realizing that for many of them the semicolon will never be more than a winking emoticon, and maybe I don’t mind, and maybe I do, but maybe I believe anyway: in syntax and love and cake, oh glorious cake!

Grown-Up

(hours late…because–yes–I went to bed early…)
Grown-up
 
 Was it for this I uttered prayers,
And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs,
That now, domestic as a plate,
I should retire at half-past eight?

Edna St Vincent Millay

Bourgeois Pig

The Farmer’s Market

The thing is, I go months without peaches. January and March and June crawl by, and I throw some blueberries into a bowl or slice up a Gala, and I don’t even think about peaches. Then mid-summer, I get one, and maybe it’s okay, and I don’t think much about it, but a week or so later, I get another one, and there I am standing over the sink–the smell of it intoxicating!–and it’s running down my face, and it’s all I want. Weeks pass, and I snatch up peaches so fast and greedy that they bruise in the bag, but I don’t mind, not at all. I eat it or cut around it or pretend it’s not there.

Mid-September comes. Late September. October. And every Thursday, on our way to the farmer’s market, I harbor the tiny fear that they’ll be gone, that in their place will be kale and sweet potatoes and chard, and when I ask the lady, she’ll shake her head with a little regret and tell me I have to wait until next year. So far, I’ve been lucky (Look mom, peaches! Eva says.), but oh tomorrow…Tomorrow looms.

Selecting a Reader

Selecting a Reade

 by Ted Kooser

First, I would have her be beautiful,
and walking carefully up on my poetry
at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
her hair still damp at the neck
from washing it. She should be wearing
a raincoat, an old one, dirty
from not having money enough for the cleaners.
She will take out her glasses, and there
in the bookstore, she will thumb
over my poems, then put the book back
up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
“For that kind of money, I can get
my raincoat cleaned.” And she will.