Hello all. Great to hear from Becky and that the bio event went well. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall.

We got to go to our own church today as a whole family even though we are at MHS. Only two girls are here for the holiday weekend and only one for this morning, so she just came along with us. Yesterday, we went out with the girls to look at a hang glider launch site that is supposed to have a very short walk and a lovely view. It turned out to be even shorter than advertised and it was snowing so the view was obscured (though still lovely!). The drive up to the spot was exciting anyway.

In the morning one girl was at a b-ball game, and the other was interested in coming along to hear the regional Poetry Out Loud competition, so we all went along. This was Nessa’s second year hearing it. Elizabeth kept Tobin outside for the actual recitations but joined us for lunch afterward. Nessa’s favorite poem was a sweet one about ponies. The MHS girl enjoyed herself as well and wrote several of her favorite poems down on her blue jeans. Zoe Perrin, one of our four seniors, won first place this year, so she will go on to the state competition. We were up against five or six large public schools, so it is a great encouragement to our poetry program. I’ve pasted copies of the two poems that she recited. Her renditions of both were gut-wrenchingly intense. She needs a third poem for states, and I am going to encourage her to diversify with something more light-hearted.

I Go Back to May 1937

By Sharon Olds

I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks,
the wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips aglow in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don’t do it—she’s the wrong woman,
he’s the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you have not heard of,
you are going to want to die. I want to go
up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don’t do it. I want to live. I
take them up like the male and female
paper dolls and bang them together
at the hips, like chips of flint, as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.

the mother

By Gwendolyn Brooks

Abortions will not let you forget.
You remember the children you got that you did not get,
The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair,
The singers and workers that never handled the air.
You will never neglect or beat
Them, or silence or buy with a sweet.
You will never wind up the sucking-thumb
Or scuttle off ghosts that come.
You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh,
Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye.

I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed children.
I have contracted. I have eased
My dim dears at the breasts they could never suck.
I have said, Sweets, if I sinned, if I seized
Your luck
And your lives from your unfinished reach,
If I stole your births and your names,
Your straight baby tears and your games,
Your stilted or lovely loves, your tumults, your marriages, aches, and your deaths,
If I poisoned the beginnings of your breaths,
Believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate.
Though why should I whine,
Whine that the crime was other than mine?—
Since anyhow you are dead.
Or rather, or instead,
You were never made.
But that too, I am afraid,
Is faulty: oh, what shall I say, how is the truth to be said?
You were born, you had body, you died.
It is just that you never giggled or planned or cried.

Believe me, I loved you all.
Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you

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