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It’s late night poem again. Whiny Wednesday. Or, Wicked Wednesday. I should’ve, after the first week of doing this, given myself all the Wednesdays off. That would’ve been fair, and wise. Ah, hindsight. I’m not going to whine tonight. Well, maybe just a tiny whimper. The stinky kids (students, not progeny) are all sick and snotty again, and now my throat hurts. Blast them and their shoddy handwashing. I’m going to sip my fizzy vitamin drink and poem about….something. It’ll come to me. Rachmaninov on the Pandora is helping. Without it I’d be sleep poeming.

So, I’m teaching Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which I’ve read before, but it is doubly stomach-churning now that I have children, and it pretty much tops the scale of horrific the first go ’round, so double is a lot. I’d almost second-guess teaching it to emotionally-disturbed sophomores if it wasn’t so damned beautiful and they weren’t so into it. They’ve all read ahead, and some have finished, and they’ve only had it a week. Good conversations in English 10B this week.  See bossfriend, no whining 🙂 Anyhow. I was reading it today just before dinner at school, outside, in a muggy and slightly smokey day. We are approaching fire season. As I was reading, the perfectly normal and even delightful July day turned suddenly still and sinister. I’m going to try to poem about that.

Last July on Earth

Maybe it is so easy to imagine the worst of all ends, because we all spend so much time pretending we aren’t already years out on the limb, its sinews snapping loudly and with some regularity. Maybe we are too wretched for this peace, she thinks when the day suddenly stills and grows heavy, the sky blue and smoke-dimmed, quite instantly she is alone and nothing moves, aspen leaves shaking, and little else. It is easy then, to dream up an end in fire. Somewhere a distant forest burns, and has eaten the air before it. The sounds come back slow and one at a time: a hummingbird, the unexpected drone. She makes that privileged comparison and the colors flit from brilliant July to scorch and ash before her eyes. In the tallest cedar something rodential, and at first she thinks they are fighting, mating maybe, chitter chitter chuddering and their chorus is sinister until she realizes that no, they aren’t fighting or fucking, no, they are laughing at her. Cupping their paws to their mouths and laughing, because they know what comes next.


Had to rush the ending. It is so beyond bedtime. Tomorrows free-write for class: How do you imagine the world will end? Happy Wednesday 🙂