#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream
. . . “This herbaceous perennial, growing from corm
vertical and swollen as it is underground.
Even in late summer, it is not nothing, William
turning from purple to red before his scattering.”
~ Excerpt from “Jack-in-the-Pulpit,” Kimiko Hahn
It was blue, a clear sky this morning, past the river, under the trees and to the brook, where, to my delight, I saw the red fruits of the jack-in-the-pulpit. I’ve been on the lookout all week, expecting them daily. I felt a quick surge of delight. A moment like this, a chance to take a picture, to notice something natural that I understand and can predict, this stays with me, it’s stored in the marrow of my day. It resurfaces. I remember. I had this moment. I keep it. I kept it to cheer me on a long drive to Western, MA. I went to see my dear aunt and uncle, (my father’s brother), because my sister called before my walk and I saw that it would be helpful. She was with them last night. So I drove to Northampton and visited them and waited until he was being discharged before driving home in a driving rain, a hard rain that blinded the road at times. We had some nice laughs. They are tough and independent and loving and kind and they have always been there at any time of need. Their daughter Debbie has not been with us for decades. Well, she’s with us in the way we keep her with us. Some years ago I wrote this poem about my childhood with Debbie, who had cystic fibrosis:
Last Night of Make Believe
A blue moon rises over your room
and the warm wind of our wishing blows
open the plastic flaps of your oxygen canopy
carrying you to our bed where we can be four girls,
eight feet striking the blue blanket top of
our tent, eight legs kicking sparks into stars
lighting the dark so we become the breath
of eight lungs laughing long into this night.
Only girls who think the air they breathe will last
waste moonlight sleeping. Here, the beauty parlor
in your mother’s bathroom stays open all night.
If we’re singers before a show you use make-up.
If we’re secretaries dating bosses you use curlers
and spray. We will never be as beautiful as you make us
believe. Your white hot Go-Go boots accessorize every future
we’re rehearsing. So many skins to shed in moonlight.
We must strip and streak across the yard and we’re not shy
in this neighborhood.
Sleep could knock us out any second
with one clean punch, except, for fuel
there is sugar, for levity, chips. All the musical
instruments still want to be played and the board
games and Twister will keep our eyes from closing until
dawn when the world will have to wake up.
In the night of the blue moon we make a universe
where you can breathe with us. By the light of the
blue moon where we pretend.
©KellyDuMar, published in “All These Cures,” 2015