Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Poetry in Motion

She did not live in Cornwall, in a white-washed cottage blasted by winds in the wintertime. She did not live in India in sugar-confection-like cottage like something she'd seen in an opera once. She did not even live in blinding bright and thirsty west Texas, where she might have seen the stars at night scattered across the black as though God had carelessly emptied his hole-puncher. She lived in Dallas. And there was nothing poetic about Dallas. Every now and then she and her husband were able to treat themselves to some event downtown and she hired a sitter, and found something to wear, hose with no holes and they would drive south toward the sparkly skyline with the famous glittering globe, with carseats in the back, empty.
It was all very sophisticated and exciting but, not poetic.
No there was nothing poetic about Dallas, unless it was the sort of poetry about ugliness which she didn't like anyway.

But, then again, she was surrounded by childhood and was lucky enough to have a tree outside her balcony, a constantly moving wallpaper inhabited by a squirrel her oldest had named George. Her youngest had learned about robins and their red tummies and would announce any arrivals at the top of his lungs. She was blessed enough to have a communal lawn (frequently a soccer or battle field) directly below and also beyond this the communal playground.

There is, she realized, everything poetic about childhood. Perhaps even thats where all poetry really comes from - from when we experience beauty without hint of anxiety or worry. When it's important to know who has the toughest feet, and the highlight of your sons day is being aloud to climb the chain link fence to get his brother's ball. There is the poetry of the playground surrounded by a black-painted metal fence which the little ones walk along with their feet between the bars, slowly, methodically circumnavigating the area. There is the poetry of the snow-cone vendor who has just opened his tiny shop for the summer. Since he is only a block away the whole family walks there on fine Friday evenings after dinner for exotic flavors. Her oldest son rides his bike. There is the poetry of fresh homemade popsicles melting down their hands and dripping onto their legs leaving purple stripes. Tomorrow, she decided we will have jello poetry, and make all the jiggly jello jokes.

And soon, in the fall there would be more poetry. Late night feeding poetry, the exhausting beauty of a new baby who wanted only her. Who smelled slightly of sour-milk, warm as mashed potatoes, lumpy as brown sugar.
No, Dallas might not be picturesque, but her life certainly was.


  1. Made me smile... congratulations.

  2. this IS poetic Lissa. I love it. You're right - kids make the most dismal day seem poetic. :D

  3. Wow...this is poetic and you KNOW I don't throw that around lightly!