Summer Kitchen

Below is a beautiful poem by Donald Hall called Summer Kitchen which he wrote after the death of his wife Jane. It reminds me of my childhood, particularly my mother’s place in it. She, too, saw miracles in the ordinary.

In June’s high light she stood at the sink
With a glass of wine,
And listened for the bobolink,
And crushed garlic in late sunshine.

I watched her cooking, from my chair.
She pressed her lips
Together, reached for kitchenware,
And tasted sauce from her fingertips.

“It’s ready now. Come on,” she said.
“You light the candle.”
We ate, and talked, and went to bed,
And slept. It was a miracle.

Smile So Hard

I was shopping for men's jogging tights (ya know, backups for my backups) at Sports Basement on Bryant with B and Sidney after dinner this evening when the following text message arrived from my friend Nina in Chicago.

A picture arrived a split second later and after a brief glance I discerned (from the sweaters and the hair styles mostly) that it was taken on the playground at Pennsylvania Elementary School between the monkey bars and the yellow twirly slide during the last weeks of autumn in 1989.

In case it's not obvious, I'm the dude in the third row smiling v. hard through a dead front tooth while wearing a blonde hair helmet and tilting his head to the side just so. I killed the tooth by smashing my face into the pavement on Stafford Drive while hauling ass toward Josh G.'s house on my bike the summer before. Nina's the gal rockin' the opposing head tilt in front of me.

To echo her wish, here's to the week ahead. May you smile so hard at least once that your head has to tilt. And truthfully, once is probably enough. I've been practicing hard smiling in the mirror and I look like a shart victim.