Monday, June 27, 2011

A Perfect World

This morning I was the only one in the pool for the first half hour of lap swim. Humbly grateful for the lifeguards, the peace, the water holding me up.

Home to sad news, the obituary of the father of one of my daughter's school mates, and our family eye doctor. Only 47. This sudden, shocking loss ripples through me, and I wish I could ripple that back out as comfort to his family.

Yesterday, a fond farewell to a couple moving to North Carolina (job transfer) after building their life in this community--leaving friends, family, a church, and all things familiar. At least they are moving somewhere beautiful.

But they were Chekhovian, smiling their goodbyes: through tears (frequent stage direction in Chekhov plays, even the comedies.)

So I offer a poem from Broken Sonnets.

A Perfect World 

In the back yard today we created
a perfect world.  Moira was president:
first she disarmed us with a gun museum.
My son dug up worms and put them back.
My daughter went barefoot.  A cicada
rustled in the white pine like plastic.
We said we'd recycle anything plastic
into toy dinosaurs and play equipment.
Lunch was cream cheese on Ritz crackers,
milk, and freezer pops.  Our lips turned blue,
red, orange, and purple.  We drew sharks
and hopscotch on the sidewalk.  The gas man read
the meter.  We watered impatiens, basil, and fern.
Nobody cracked a tooth, nobody died.


Maureen said...

Wonderful poem, Kathleen.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Great description of the shock waves of loss. Your sympathy will reach and help soothe the devastated family. I know it.

Thanks for the poem.

Kathleen said...

Thanks, you two! This is indeed the favorite poem of some readers who have felt shock waves of loss and/or who do feel "the perfect world" in a single afternoon.

Collagemama said...

My gosh! That poem is my day.

Hannah Stephenson said...

Whew! I was sort of holding my breath through this of the present.

Kathleen said...

Thank you, Hannah.