Wednesday, April 17, 2013
[to Carl Sandburg, Walter De La Mare, Charles Dickens, and Christopher Morley]*
I’ve looked through every part of the castle,
the princess sighed,
for the storybook I left behind.
the one that rustled like the leaves whenever it rained.
the one where the sun melted, butter-fresh, on every page
churning gold to gold untold.whenever you read
to yourself, alone.
I’m telling it my way dear she said to her younger sister.
oh Alicia be good and keep the magic fishbone close at hand for the future you can’t see yet,
whispered the illuminations.
dressed in peach silk sunbursts godmother arrives
at the exact moment you are disheartened
and the sun dress with pockets turns to
starlight over the prairies;
the dish of raspberries smiles through the cream.
drink it all up! there’s the family crest.
what is a family crest? the baby wondered,
staring at the china
botton of the bowl-
wanting more, but not yet saying specifically:
storybooks cocoa and animal crackers or
fleur - fleur di lis! (how could she?)
at the brink, there’s the queen
sewing sensibly by a green window
or is it that the green comes all indoors
whenever you start to murmur about the waterfall
you tamed in the living room last summer
when the music came through
and we were done with board games and dancing?
it’s so refreshingly refreshing why did they leave
mused the dog with the silver paws
in charge of rumination and the butternut shadows.
there’s the lemonade springs, the bluebirds scattered
throughout oh please
stay on that page my sister whispered, where the candy
canes grow on trees
or the clouds turn to cream puffs over the village and the
stewpot keeps on (turn the page, the fairies chimed)
bubbling all winter long, even when we can’t find work;indeed,
dear God, we find other things.
mary angela douglas 16, 17 april 2013
*respectively: for that story about cream puffs, for the
poem called Silver, for Alicia and the Magic Fishbone, (and
her brothers and sisters), for Christopher Morley for his
poem about a favorite childhood snack.