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Saturday, November 26, 2011

This is Not Black Friday

I meant to post my poem "This is Not Black Friday" yesterday, or heck, Thursday night at 10 pm, but you know what? I have my own rituals around the day after Thanksgiving, and they have nothing to do with wearing the poet hat (not to mention the shopping hat). These include:

1. Staying in my pajamas & slippers till at least noon;

2. Having pumpkin/cream cheese pie for breakfast, turkey/stuffing leftovers for lunch, and eggplant parmesan for dinner;

3. Organizing my study, sorting through piles of clutter, etc. and [the best!]

4. Raking leaves.

This year I managed to attend to all four rituals. Because it was a cloudless, frosty morning, I donned my fur-lined sweatshirt over my PJs for an extra festive coziness.

I made my cup of decaf Tony's Carmelita extra strong and hot; it paired nicely with the pie.

Then I spent the morning transforming a small alcove in our sunroom/breakfast nook into my very own writer's studio. It's not much, but I have high hopes of purchasing one of those standing screens to create a psychological barrier between me and the kids crunching on their bowls of Panda Puffs. I also look forward to getting my books out of storage and putting a giant shelf to the right of me -- with all my favorites.

After a huge plate of turkey, stuffing, & cranberry, plus another schlive of pumpkin pie, I slid on my work gloves and headed to the backyard to tend to the millions of leaves that had blown into our yard during the 5-day wind/rainstorm. As I worked up a sweat I considered how a windstorm in the third week of November equals a record number of leaves in our tiny, mostly treeless yard. It reminded me of my years growing up on the east coast, where we had a mighty oak, a giant maple, and a substantial dogwood tree in our front yard--where raking, in other words, was serious business. Anyway, whatever the cause for all the leaves, it made for some great thinking/exercising time. As I toiled away I heard the not-far-enough-off sound of a leaf blower, it reminded me of Tacoma poet laureate William Kupinse's "A curse on leaf blowers and the men who love them,"and then it occurred to me that it's not so much the evil noise as the notion that someone would trade leaf-raking and its Zen-like calmness for a whining machine that can only raise one's stress levels. Replacing the rake with the leaf blower just doesn't make good sense for a nation in such bad physical and mental shape.

And what's up with the shopper-gone-mad pepper spraying? Or skipping the Thanksgiving meal to get a good place in line for the 10 pm Walmart opening? Excuse me for sounding off like a curmudgeon (RIP, Mickey Rooney), but I just don't get it.

This is Not Black Friday

This is lavender salt scrub Friday;
this is Buttermilk-Pancakes-in-the-Shapes-

of-Moons-and-Stars Friday. Nothing is black
on our 33-hundred block except the hunkered-

down beetles, the neighbor’s slick-black roof,
and our roof, too, its waterfall of rain.

Nothing’s been saved but the leftover lo mein.
The value of the day is not a 5MP camera

with 2.4” LCD, but the egg carton turkey centerpiece
with bottle cap and tinsel accents. Nothing rolled back

but the covers at 6 am, a child’s dada, you’re a wild thing,
the big deal made when she asked how the bubble gum

made it across the road (on the bottom of the chicken’s foot!).
It’s a frolic-in-a-field-of-dead-weeds Friday; no one

we know has slashed a god-damned thing.


Jan Priddy, Oregon said...

My kind of Friday! And we too eat pumpkin pie for breakfast and have stuffing for lunch. No turkey, but cold salmon and the rest of your day sounds just about perfect.

Joannie said...

Thank you for posting the poem. Loving it...

Martha Silano said...

Thx, Jane & Joan!