Saturday, January 12, 2008

Is it possible for one to drown in depth of feeling?

Sometimes The Writer's Almanac has a way of making me feel as if I live under a cultural rock. How is it that I've gone this long in life without Maxime Kumin? How will I find the time to read her work while keeping up with the rest of the stuff I'm reading and want to read, and get to work, feed the cats, drive Jerzy to Japanese class, take a shower, go to the bank . . . not to mention the added thoughts, feelings, ideas that will build up and need somewhere to go.

I'm treading water.

Which One by Maxime Kumin

I eye the driver of the Chevrolet
pulsing beside me at a traffic light

the chrome-haired woman in the checkout line
chatting up the acned clerk

the clot of kids smoking on the sly
in the Mile-Hi Pizza parking lot

the meter reader, the roofer at work
next door, a senior citizen

stabbing the sidewalk with his three-pronged cane.
Which one of you discarded in a bag

—sealed with duct tape—in the middle of the road
three puppies four or five weeks old

who flung two kittens from a moving car
at midnight into a snowbank where

the person trailing you observed the leg
and tail of the calico one that lived

and if not you, someone flossing her teeth
or watering his lawn across the street.

I look for you wherever I go.

2 comments:

Myles said...

I don't know what kind of ethernet-ethereal coincidences worked their way into happening between the friend of a friend linking one of the many facebook walls with a gateway to your blog, and the world wide hopscotch she may have dazzled through to find your blue gateway, and all the missing ornaments in between that would surely delight one of us, but it's wonderful to have happened, and wonderful to think about.

I admire this, this you.

-Myles

Judith Shapiro said...

Thanks and Ditto, Myles.