Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Buildings Move Up There

I write a poem now and then, some of which turn into songs, although this one probably will stay as it is. I sent this to my daughter Anna after I wrote it, early last fall, and I got a nice note from her about it just this morning. I'm up real early to stoke the stove. I went out for wood to do that. The sky was not quite black, and the wind was a solid, firm current, that cold dry high coming down from somewhere up near the Great Lakes. It's going to mix with wet, warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and probably knock our power out this coming night, and put all of us here in central NC in a state of stasis, all our travelling equipment irrelevant until warmer temperatures arrive in a few days. Nonetheless, the days are getting longer. I'm hoping trees don't come down across the driveway, or across our roof.

Anyways, below is how it looked last September, and a whisper of spring to come. I love all the seasons, and the great cycle of them. I love heating with wood, when we have enough cut ahead. Our last big winter blast, two weeks ago, an 89-year-old lady down the road slipped on the ice on her steps and huddled outside her own door for 24 hours before someone found her. Her body temperature had dropped to 72, but she miraculously survived ok, and was interviewed on the teevee a couple of nights ago, sitting in a recliner in her brick house, warm and toasty, with all the lights on. Her hairdresser alerted her folks because she hadn't shown up for an appointment, which was not like her. They went over to her house and found her. The lady said to the tv lady: "I guess the Lord had more for me to do."

The Buildings Move Up There

On some holiday, perhaps exhilarating Spring
I went with Anna to New York, arriving early;
We walked the empty streets observing vacant
Weedy places where in some while, as throngs
Expected gathered, they would move the bigger buildings,
For the day. People gathered annually
To celebrate and marvel this procession—Anna
Never having seen it, being a young teen—
Part of the fun was introducing her to this amazement,
And she said on the train home,
“Now I know why you come up here.”

I told her mom about it all, later, with the cats
Snuggled round our bed, the cool Fall air in the
Window. It was time to get up, feed them all,
Go to this job I have, where they bring in scrap metal.
What I see there is a big sycamore tree, leaves
Falling at the moment. Behind it are tired clouds
or a cloud bank, or blue sky. In the latter case,
There are also now and then contrails.
The man beyond the tracks burns off his summer garden.
And the shadow of our scale house creeps across the truck scale
In the dwindling afternoons.

--Silk Hope, 9/30/13

(Now and then the big cranes that unload trucks with a magnet roll up to where I sit and clean the scale of nails that might have fallen out of loads of scrap.)

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