If I had decided to go back to work this year, yesterday would have been my first day with students. I'm feeling surprisingly blank about the whole thing: not good, not bad, not happy, not sad. I guess that's a sign that, in some ways, either decision would have been the right one. I could have spent the day handing out a crisp, freshly printed syllabus to each tentative new face that greeted me at my classroom door, every one dressed up in their "I want to look good but not like I'm trying too hard" finery. Instead, I spent the day with this face: sometimes looking confused when I tried to get her to pick out the cardinal from a big picture of birds, sometimes pinching her eyes shut because squinting is her newest trick, sometimes wide-mouthed with tears because she couldn't get a zipper to work or the snack wasn't coming fast enough. But mostly smiling.
I do miss my poems of the day, as always. This poem has been rattling around in my brain lately; I found it when looking for a suitable piece to bring to that blessingway I attended a while back. The second-to-last line reminds me of the second-to-last line in "J. Alfred Prufrock," but much less melancholy.
Oh, to be a poet! I guess I'll settle for the (much) lesser art of blogging.
After Making Love We Hear Voices - Galway Kinnell
For I can snore like a bullhorn
or play loud music
or sit up talking with any reasonably sober Irishman
and Fergus will only sink deeper
into his dreamless sleep, which goes by all in one flash,
but let there be that heavy breathing
or a stifled come-cry anywhere in the house
and he will wrench himself awake
and make for it on the run--as now, we lie together,
after making love, quiet, touching along the length of our bodies,
familiar touch of the long-married,
and he appears--in his baseball pajamas, it happens,
the neck opening so small he has to screw them on--
and flops down between us and hugs us and snuggles himself to sleep,
his face gleaming with satisfaction at being this very child.
In the half darkness we look at each other
and touch arms across this little, startlingly muscled body--
this one whom habit of memory propels to the ground of his making,
sleeper only the mortal sounds can sing awake,
this blessing love gives again into our arms.