Lindsey and I threw a dinner party last week. It was lovely. Our friend Betsy’s son is getting married next year. On the exact same day as us, actually, which is weird. Anyway. Her future daughter-in-law is all about the Wedding Website. At the dinner party, Betsy requested that we start a Wedding Website. But we already have a getting married blog? No, no. She wants to see a Wedding Website, with photos and short bios and our meet-cute engagement story. Maybe later.
In the meantime: Lindsey and I met in college. Actually we met really early, in like the first week of college, because we were in the same Introduction to Poetry class. That’s kind of cute right? (Never mind that we didn’t really talk to each other much after the class until about two years later.) I think actually that we sat next to each other a couple of times, but I don’t really remember. I think the only time we talked was during the end-of-term poetry analysis assignment, in which we paired up to analyze Elizabeth Bishop’s Sestina. It’s about how terribly sad and gorgeous and marvelous life and dying are, and also about tea-time. I quite like it.
September rain falls on the house.
In the failing light, the old grandmother
sits in the kitchen with the child
beside the Little Marvel Stove,
reading the jokes from the almanac,
laughing and talking to hide her tears.
She thinks that her equinoctial tears
and the rain that beats on the roof of the house
were both foretold by the almanac,
but only known to a grandmother.
The iron kettle sings on the stove.
She cuts some bread and says to the child,
It’s time for tea now; but the child
is watching the teakettle’s small hard tears
dance like mad on the hot black stove,
the way the rain must dance on the house.
Tidying up, the old grandmother
hangs up the clever almanac
on its string. Birdlike, the almanac
hovers half open above the child,
hovers above the old grandmother
and her teacup full of dark brown tears.
She shivers and says she thinks the house
feels chilly, and puts more wood in the stove.
It was to be, says the Marvel Stove.
I know what I know, says the almanac.
With crayons the child draws a rigid house
and a winding pathway. Then the child
puts in a man with buttons like tears
and shows it proudly to the grandmother.
But secretly, while the grandmother
busies herself about the stove,
the little moons fall down like tears
from between the pages of the almanac
into the flower bed the child
has carefully placed in the front of the house.
Time to plant tears, says the almanac.
The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove
and the child draws another inscrutable house.