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Showing posts from May, 2010

City Mouse, Country Mouse

Two and a half hours.

Choice: grocery shop or flaneur. Feed the body or feed the soul.

She choses to feed the soul.

She drives a half hour to the closest city--a city which she is certain real city-dwellers would laugh at. Nevertheless, it is city enough for her. She parks the car, locks the doors, and walks down a brick sidewalk. She is joined at the crosswalk by a man in khaki shorts and two greyhounds. At least, she thinks they are greyhounds. They've got funky stripes, and they walk with a spring in their steps, like they're used to running.

If she lived in a city, she thinks, in a loft with big windows and an open floor plan, where friends would gather for impromptu dinner parties featuring things like pancetta and fried squash blossoms, she would have a dog like that. But she doesn't, so she won't.

She keeps walking, over the bridge with the river's water churning below, past the cafe, past the bank, the toy store, the lawyers' offices. She arrives at an…

Fish is Fish

Last summer, the Gingerbread Man put nine goldfish in the pond. It was a very small pond, fed by a very small spring, bordered by sticks and stones, mostly. Moss, ferns, iris, and marsh marigolds grew on its edges. Week by week went by, and each time she looked, it seemed as if there were fewer and fewer goldfish.

By summer's end, only one goldfish survived. More clever than the others, this goldfish would hide under the leaves that fell on the surface of the water. They named him Angst and took him in to winter over in a glass bowl set on a bookcase by an east window. He sickened in the bowl almost immediately, turning black on stem and stern. They fretted over him, researched goldfish diseases, took action. Angst eventually got better, returning to his normal orange shimmer. They were relieved, happy in his goldfish antics, his goldfish shine. He grew bigger and bigger over the winter, fed on a daily diet of fish pellets.

When the sunshine became a bit more regular, they returned …

The Tipping Point

Remember the swing
Remember the crab-apple tree
Remember the lilacs and the pussy-willows,
The pheasants and the squirrels
Remember the joy of pumping legs,
Swinging so high your stomach dropped down--
The exhilaration of flying.
Remember the rough brown bark
Ants climbing tree
Side by side to knee and elbow
Remember hanging upside down on branch
Hair swinging free
Blood rushing to face,
The tipping point.