Wednesday Poetry Break. Wait, WHAT?

It’s Thursday, you say? Well, that just seems to be the way things are going right now. My absence this past week has been not just from a crazy commute, but also from a well-deserved (I think, anyway) get-away to Boston to visit friends. There’s nothing like a few rousing games of ping pong with 12 and 13 year olds, followed by much food and a few gin and tonics, to get your mind off your troubles.I even got to have lunch with my favorite Suburban Lesbian Housewife.

Here’s a poem that is apropos of nothing, but I read it and I liked it.

All the Difficult Hours and Minutes

All the difficult hours and minutes
are like salted plums in a jar.
Wrinkled, turn steeply into themselves,
they mutter something the color of  sharkfins to the glass.
Just so, calamity turns toward calmness.
First the jar holds the umeboshi, then the rice does.

— Jane Hirshfield

I emphasize that this is not a description of my life. Difficult hours and minutes? Please. I ride several trains, and often include my bike. But yesterday on the train we waited all impatiently to offload at the final station, griping about what could be the hold-up here, and then we saw that a woman in a wheel chair was getting off the train too. Yeah, it really could be a much, much harder commute.

Plus, I kinda like public transportation because I’m such a people-watcher. And it’s so international here that I often sit and listen to people gabbing away in other languages. It’s fun to pretend I remember much more than rudimentary French or Spanish. The truth is, I hear words that link the conversation, but it takes a while for me to know what people are talking about.  I mean, I listened to a trio of professionals speaking in elegant Spanish yesterday and picked up words like “because,” “but,” “also,” “boss,” “I know,” “only,” “milk.” Wait — milk? That can’t be right. Oh well. perhaps this commuting experience will help me improve my language skills ….


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