Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Eye Upon the Donut, Not Upon the Hole: A Birthday Wish

Laughing. Crying.

Rolling into the driveway at sunset.
Chunky, smiling, round, green car.
Boxy, blue pick up truck. Smells like asphalt.
Gold wedding band, dark skin, shiny watch.
Predictable smirk, prelude to a smile…

“You’re a pretty dancer…ya- ha ha.”
Twirling down the aisles of Adams’ Supermarket.

Oh Sock Oh Kid Oh Pal…
Trot trot to where?

Caught in the jaws of the vice…
Where we wanted to be.

Homemade Sunday mornings...copper kitchen…
"Keep your eye upon the donut, not upon the hole."
Burning trash…burning leaves…burning the whole damn field…
Honey bees…orangey hills…making cider at Gill’s….

“Shhhh! Stop shuffling; I can’t sleep.”
Baby, baby.
Chokes on sour, green candy.
World upside down…saves baby girl.

In the lake
World upside down…saves baby girl.

Bad judgment
World upside down…saves young woman.
Always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always there.

The fair.  The fair.
Steam puffs from the corn kettle in the rain and wind ‘til the blue tarp blows clean away…
“Can I have a dollar?” (bought a lot in those days).
The man blows kazoos and a red plastic trumpet. I’m better.

Over the river and through the woods…to grandmother’s house we went. Always.
Beebe, Pemi, Smith, Cold, Bear Camp, Swift…Rivers ran through us.
Three little fishies…
Boom boom dittum datum wadum chew
You ran and you ran right over the dam…
God wanted you then; He didn’t keep you…precious elephants waited in the wings.

The woods by the farm.  The opening in the field.
Point to the spot where you shot the bear. I saw you there last week.
Finding stars through the skylight before they dimmed.
Hot dog ears when fireworks explode. Not then. Not now.

Dipping toothbrushes in wood ash for white teeth…Abenaki custom you didn’t know.

Alley Cat…Samba… Fox Trot…Tango…Cha cha cha…
Organ drumbeats…big fat colored notes…ignore them.
Glenn Miller
Sing along with Mitch
Dancing with my mother…

You showed me the face of the Man and the Moon.
You showed him mine.

“Can I put the nickel in the jukebox?” ‘King of the Road’ and ‘Big Rock Candy Mountain’ at Fausty’s Diner… “I wanna ‘girl cheese’.”

Captain and Toenail…Classic mahogany Chris Craft…glubs and murmurs across the lake…
Will her bright orange life jacket float?…
Red plaid thermos, picnic basket, plastic forks…

Raccoons and sometimes skunks.

"It's just a bad dream."

Saving Thumbelina from the rising tide.

Tea, toast, peanut butter and cheese.

Lap cat and sports on TV. You saw the game; I watched paint dry. Its okay.

Worrying for nothing at the egg, pie plate, glass of water and broom trick.

Listening. Hearing.
Beeping and wishing on Durgin Bridge.

Believe in me? Believe in you.

Always in the audience.
Favorite fan.
O Holy Night.

Loves my mother.
Loves my sisters.
Loves my children.
Loves me.

Smiles in the end when all else fails…
Love born on December 15, 1928.
Departs from this earth… April 6, 2006.

Silent but present in my dreams…nothing left unsaid.

One regret
Shoulda' played
When the Saints Go Marchin in
Before intermission.

Ramsey Wood Pettengill.

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