I really wanted to post the third and final installment of the "Commander's Intent" series. But I've had two four-in-the-morning-to-eight-at-nights working down on Highway 6 outside Tillamook. Long, long days driving and shifting pavement cores and logging samples and organizing drillers and flaggers and falling-weight-deflectometry and I'm dead tired.
I'll post it tomorrow. Promise.
I did want to post this for my friends H&C, in China and only days, hours, from meeting their little boys. One of my favorite poems about kids and parents and the mystery that holds us together while holding us apart, like the poles of a magnet, or like twinned planets; endlessly circling each other, forever seperate, forever joined.
What You Cannot Remember, What You Cannot Know
When you were two you used to say
I can do it all by myself, then when you were three
You had tantrums, essentially
Because you wanted to go back and be a baby like before,
And also to be a grownup.
It was perplexing,
It was a mini-rehearsal
For adolescence, which lurks inside your body
Now that you are almost nine,
Like a duplicate baby, an angel
Or alien, we don't know which,
Forceful and intelligent and weird,
Playing with the controls.
Fetal eyes blinking, non-negotiable demands
Like Coke bubbles overflowing a glass,
It strengthens and grows.
When you read it stares through your eyes,
It vibrates when you practice piano,
The cotton dresses hang in your closet
Like conspirators, wavering in its breeze.
We watch you turn inward, your hair
Falls over your face like a veil that hides whatever
You would rather others don't know,
You lean your head listening
For its keen highstrung melancholy voice.
Here comes the gypsy caravan,
Ding-a-ling, the icecream man,
Plenty of glee and woe up the road.
We would do anything for you,
Sweetie, but we can do nothing—
You have to do it all by yourself.
by Alicia Suskin Astriker, from No Heaven. © University of Pittsburgh Press.