[lit-ideas] Re: Sunday Poem

What surreal fields I border.
At the going down of the sun I remember
to pick up our daughter,
twenty four hours after a shofar blew
the Jewish year's starter's orders.
She's endured a full day of flag-chucking practice,
with the band and cheerleaders.
It's her new thing.
The "Thistle and Shamrock" is on the car radio,
as I sit in my SAAB,
with the other Moms and Dads,
in their cars,
all lining the high school drive.
Beside me is an old man wearing leather gloves,
the tips of the fingers,
like those of British bus conductors,
and Madonna,
cut off.
He owns an ancient, mint, Ford Aerostar minivan, with front bra on,
to preserve the paint from chips.
In rows two and three behind him,
junior kids that can't be his, make their feelings known.
I know I could talk with him and get real gen,
but I perform instead a quick New Year's rummage within,
a swift rotor-rooting of the soul,
to drill out stuff,
but like most wildcatters--and that is the symbol of my clan--I find only reminders I forgot to eat lunch,
and a small reserve of patience.
So I doze,
tumble into that judeo-celtic twilight,
listen in on a penny whistle session at Sandy Bell's--
that old folk venue in Edinburgh--
slip into a dream in which a sheela-na-gig
is dropped by helicopter,
onto the football field,
much puzzling the exhausted flag chuckers
and probably
that man in gloves.


David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon

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