Frost ashes on yews
Dawn struggles to make a day
Thin gray light hangs on.
The guests were gone and there was a lot of cake left. The baby shower was lovely, but it was a lot — a lot of food, a lot of people, a lot of set up and clean up, a lot of cute onesies and receiving blankets and stuffed monkeys.
Once people had left, a few of us stayed and picked up used paper plates and cups half full of wine or juice, broke down tables and did the dishes. I collected all the big lavender balloons and popped them, before Kate, Adrienne’s good friend who hosted the shower at her house, went to get her dogs and bring them home. As the tight balloons popped, shreds of lavender stuck to the walls and my dress. Carrie, Adrienne’s mother-in-law who’d organized the shower, ordered the food, helped develop the guest list and planned the decorations and activities with Kate, finished packaging up all the leftovers, and left.
Finally, it was quiet. Adrienne, Kate and I looked at the big slab of cake still sitting on the kitchen table.
“I’m not going to eat that cake,” Kate said. Adrienne has gotten more gluten intolerant with her pregnancy, and hadn’t even tasted the cake. I eat very few sweets, generally avoid refined wheat products, and had already had some of the cake, which made me feel sick. Kate had eaten a piece earlier too, and we agreed the highlight was the cannoli filling — sweetened ricotta, laced with cinnamon, running through the cake between the top and middle layers.
“Let’s mine the ricotta vein,” I said. Kate and Adrienne and I looked at each other, grabbed forks, and got to it. I cut big pieces off the slab with the cake knife, the handle smeared with frosting which then coated my hand. Adrienne, Kate and I all broke apart the layers of cake and scooped out the ricotta filling. I sliced off another big piece, and we again ate the ricotta. And another. Once again. We laughed and ate and felt like we were breaking some rule, but all we were doing was not eating cake, piling discarded pastry into a miniature dessert dump.
We were eating our delight, and forgetting about the rest.
Count pies, count people
We had seven for fourteen
Rate your Thanksgiving.
The weather widget on my Droid has a red exclamation point, and when I click through to the Severe Weather Alert I find a Wind Advisory. The wind certainly feels severe as I start my run headed west, up the small hill past the cemetery.
Eight hours later: Just as I wrote the above the phone rang. Eric’s brother was calling to let me know that Uncle Benny died last night. So that changed the day, of course. The words that had been swirling through my head for this post, like the brown oak leaves whipping in the wind as I ran, swam away, and I spent the next couple of hours on the phone, rearranging the Thanksgiving weekend plans, calling Adrienne and Sam, checking in with Eric’s cousin Burton and my mother-in-law Natalie, figuring out what to do about the double Thanksgiving dinner plans, the baby shower plans, feeling the inexorable pull of life and all it brings crashing and thrashing around me, around all of us.
And now it’s another four hours later and the cooking is done and the table is set for tomorrow. Friday morning I’ll be on the road at 6:00 a.m. to get to Connecticut in time for the funeral. More phone calls, more shifting of plans, more thinking about Uncle Ben.
Whenever a visit was coming to an end, Ben would say, “It’s been nice for you to see me,” grinning, loving his joke, the biggest joke being it was true, it always was nice to see Ben because he was funny and warm and interesting.
Today has been quite a November run.
Running in shadow
Sun rising to light tree tops
Creeping to the turn.
Words telling tales telling words
I love palindromes. Maybe it’s connected to my fascination with time and movement, how we go from one place to the next, one moment to the next, and can never really go back. Even if we do return to a physical location over and over, it’s never the same because the moment of our return is different from any preceding moment. But with palindromes, you can go both ways. There’s a built in circle, even in a line.
I love palindrome numbers too, like when a digital clock reads 11:11 or 10:10. I was delighted the entire year I was 55 because of the doubling of the digit, the tiny palindrome. One day at work during a staff meeting we were talking about how cool it would be to have a baby on November 11, 2011 — 11/11/11. We even calculated when you would have to get pregnant to try to have a baby on that date.
So, I hope you enjoy my attempt at a palindrome haiku. It’s late, it’s been a long day, a long week (it’s only Tuesday!), a long month, you get the idea. When I have more brain power I’m going to try a more fully realized palindrome haiku. It would be a tiny exercise for trying a crown sonnet some day (15 sonnets, exploring a theme, with each of the first 14 sonnets linked by having the final line of each be the first line of the next sonnet, and the 15th and final sonnet being made up of the first lines of the preceding 14 sonnets in order).
Here are some word phrase palindromes, I found at Wikipedia. “Fall leaves after leaves fall”, “You can cage a swallow, can’t you, but you can’t swallow a cage, can you?”, “First Ladies rule the State and state the rule: ladies first” and “Girl, bathing on Bikini, eyeing boy, sees boy eyeing bikini on bathing girl”. The crown sonnet of palindromes may be a character by character and word by word palindrome – “Level, madam, level!”
What about a palindrome crown sonnet?