japonisme: a flash of orange

04 June 2010

a flash of orange


Look! A flash of orange along the river's edge --
"oriole!" comes to your lips like instinct, then
it's vanished -- lost in the foliage,

in all your head holds, getting on with the day.
But not gone for good. There is that woman
walks unseen beside you with her apron

pockets full. Days later, or years, when you least
seem to need it -- reading Frost on the subway,
singing over a candled cake -- she'll reach

into a pocket and hand you this intact
moment -- the river, the orange streak parting
the willow, and the "oriole!" that leapt

to your lips. Unnoticed, steadfast, she gathers
all this jumble, sorts it, hands it back like
prizes from Crackerjack. She is your mother,

who first said, "Look! a robin!" and pointed,
and there was a robin, because her own
mother had said to her, "Look!" and pointed,

and so on, back to the beginning: the mother,
the child, and the world. The damp bottom
on one arm and pointing with the other:

the peach tree, the small rocks in the shallows,
the moon and the man in the moon. So you keep on,
seeing, forgetting, faithfully followed;

and you yourself, unwitting, gaining weight,
have thinned to invisibility, become
that follower. Even now, your daughter

doesn't see you at her elbow as she walks
the beach. There! a gull dips to the Pacific,
and she points and says to the baby, "Look!"

Sarah Getty

From The Land of Milk and Honey, by Sarah Getty, published by the University of South Carolina Press, 1996. Copyright © 1996 by Sarah Getty. All rights reserved.

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Blogger Diane Dehler said...

These are vivid and bright images to welcome Spring, which has finally arrived.

06 June, 2010 22:31  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

indeed, princess! june deserves a welcome!

06 June, 2010 22:40  
Blogger Dominic Bugatto said...

Lovely assortment.

10 June, 2010 12:25  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thank you dominic -- fun, eh?

10 June, 2010 13:30  
Blogger Nancy Ewart said...

I read somewhere that orange was a lucky color in Asian culture so all this orange (and those lovely birds) is a double lucky!

11 June, 2010 11:53  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

cool nancy! thanks for letting me know..., and wait till you see the next post!

11 June, 2010 12:03  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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