Saturday, October 5, 2013

October 5: Happy Saint Marty's Day, a Present, a New Poem, a New Cartoon

...Almost every time somebody gives me a present, it ends up making me sad.

Happy Saint Marty's Day!

Yes, the day everybody's been waiting for all year long has finally arrived.  It's time to unwrap the presents, eat the tapioca (a traditional Saint Marty's Day dessert), and bask in the warm glow!  To be clear, I do not subscribe to Holden Caulfield's attitude about presents as stated in the above passage.  I love presents.  They do not make me sad.  Quite the opposite.

In celebration of this wonderful holiday, I have a new poem and a new cartoon for all of my faithful disciples.  It's my way of thanking all of you for hanging in there with me through the troubling times of the last few months.  While circumstances really haven't changed all that much, I have decided to set aside my worries today and embrace my blessings.

Thus, you will not read about problems with money (unless you want to send me some) or work (unless you want to offer me a full-time teaching position at a university) or my unruly five-year-old son (unless you want to babysit him sometime this week).  It's all good today.

Saint Marty is going to go sit by his Saint Marty's Day tree now and munch on a few Saint Marty's Day chocolate chip cookies.

Things My Daughter Knows

How to lace ribbons up her shins,
count music beats, lift herself
to her toes, hold her body
on that axis, those ten digits,
defy laws of gravity, motion,
float like some undiscovered planet.

How to brush her red hair
upside down, rake teeth
from scalp downward,
over and over, until her mane
glows like organized flame
when she tosses her head back,
when she looks at me
from the forest fire of her face.

How to ignore the gaze of boys
as she splits water with the curves
of her hips and chest, dives
into the deep green end, reaches
for something on the bottom,
maybe an angel she painted
in kindergarten, all orange, black,
a ladybug singing in excelsis Deo.

How to feed me Life Savers
when my blood sugar dips so low
I can't remember anything
but my need for juice, cookie,
the steps of bite, chew, swallow,
bite again, as my mind untangles
the shoelaces of memory, finds
at its center knot this girl,
all leg, arm, body, DNA
of an encounter almost 13 years old,
when I reached out in the dark one night
and found the spark of love.

Confessions of Saint Marty


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