my dream is gone and with it went my plan
to stay the course and be there for the dawn
of some great thing. but I don’t think I can,
and this because my lovely dream is gone.
a lifeboat made of little more than hope
(not watertight and also slightly frayed)
and yet “the thing with feathers” helped me cope,
and stay! of such was my good lifeboat made.
I didn’t need the ocean to be true.
the faith (and miracles it would precede)
were not my gift; the hope would have to do.
my hope is gone, and that I didn’t need.
whether it is true or whether counterfeit,
still the work to do is getting over it.
I feel like we’ve been moving for a year. The life of a professional vagabond lost its charm when we started buying things like mattresses. Now it’s just painful, pinioned as I am by side tables and children and such. Staying put is part of growing up, arguably. So it may be time to send out some tentative roots. I just never thought it would be here. In Zion. So many of my people are here. And to be amidst one’s people, here in Zion, is to have the water close over one’s head. (I mean, not in a bad way. And only sometimes.)
I’ll miss the door knocker to our little rental. It wasn’t until I read the “as for me and my house” business that I realized how deep we were in it. Up to our knees, at least! Then it was revealed that this was the home a former Stake Patriarch had built for himself and his wife once their nest was empty, where he’d given over 800 blessings (in the room occupied by my son). And when I learned that little fact, I knew we were in it up to our waists. But I tell you what, there was a darn good feeling in that room. If you had asked me which room in the house had been the venue for almost a thousand patriarchal blessings, I would have picked that room with my eyes closed. I’m not kidding.
Now we’re home owners again. As for me and my house, we’re in it up to our necks.
It’s demoralizing to have one’s rubbish examined by one’s neighbor and be found wanting, is it not? Such was the case yesterday, when the woman from the house on the corner knocked on my door a few minutes after I’d arranged our garbage on the curb at the end of my driveway.
“So sorry to bother you,” she says, “but I was wondering if my husband could take the tricycle you’ve left by your bin to Goodwill. Because then it could be enjoyed by another child?”
“Do you know,” I say, “I don’t think it could, actually. It’s broken.”
“Perhaps it could be fixed,” she suggests (patiently). She is from Europe. She is unaware that I can read her mind, a fact which gives me no pleasure and certainly no advantage.
‘I wish it could,” I reply. “We got it from the neighbors next door. Their two daughters outgrew it. Our daughters have ridden it pretty hard. I’m sure it’s beyond repair.” My girls thrashed the hell out of that trike. Still, I find myself justifying my garbage to this person.
“I wonder,” she counters, “if a disadvantaged child might still enjoy it.”
“Enjoy sitting on it, you mean?” I assume an expression of genuine contemplation. Yes, I can picture it. A dirt-encrusted girl with dubious hair (who is the spiting image of my four year-old) sits on the broken tricycle. “Why don’t the pedals move forward, Mommy?” she asks. “Because we’re poor, sweetie. We can only have broken things. Try to understand.”
My neighbor and I have reached a quick impasse. Perhaps she can read my mind, too. I hope not.