Thursday, February 28, 2008

Advice to Myself

by Louise Erdrich, from Original Fire: Selected and New Poems

Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Daffodil Shoots

The daffodils are coming! The small, green shoots have poked up out of the ground and it looks like they'll be blooming just in time for Saint David's Day on March 1st. On that day, we'll have leek soup and roast chicken and lemon cake to celebrate and I'll put vases full of daffodils around the house. It won't quite be Spring, but it's a reminder that it'll soon be here.

When I see daffodils, I remember the lovely autumn day John and I put sacks full of daffodil bulbs in the little cart he'd made for his tractor and we sat baby Jack there too, on a blanket, and went down our long gravel driveway, planting hundreds of daffodils along both sides. What a sight that was when they bloomed in the Spring!