Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Plan B . . .

Today, I was completing my usual 4 mile march around the complex (that sounds a little too Soviet, so let me make clear that I love walking and seeing the sky a
nd ducks and it is my sanity time). I saw a bush and, in the bush, what appeared to be a very small cow. "That looks like a very tiny cow," I thought. But I am nearsighted and given to an overactive imagination, so I told myself it was not a cow and was probably some kind of mysterious black box connected to boring things like electricity or cable. I grew closer, and discovered I had been correct. It was not a cow sitting in the bush.

It was a goat. A small black goat. A small black goat tied to a stake. "What is a goat doing tied to a stake?" I thought. Then I realized what it meant. The goat is going to be eaten. Why else would it be tied down on the grass in front of an apartment building? Obviously there is a fiesta going on this weekend. I looked at the goat again and realized that it still had fuzzy baby fur. It bleated and looked at me. I began to plan its rescue.

Operation Baby Goat Deliverance, Part 1: Offer to buy it from the owners. If they refuse, take it. Yes, I think I just plotted theft online.
Part 2: Yet to be determined. I need a way to a) get it home, b) convince parents to keep it somewhere on our 9 acres, and c) did I mention get it home.

And now, images of tiny helpless fuzzy baby goats keep running through my head.

Not helped by the fact that I found a small, surprisingly sweet daschund on the loose as well, and could not convince it to come home and am worried it will be hit by a car.

I'm not a crazy animal person. Promise.

I just want to save the goat, okay?

"Help us!"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Sun Was Unclouded

Here in the flatlands, it's autumn and absolutely gorgeous. I'll admit it: Mississippi is growing on me. This weekend roommate and I went with a sweet friend to ride horses in the southern part of the state, and it was gorgeous and rolling hills and her parents are vets and I felt I'd stepped into the Mississippi version of James Herriot. All that to say--the desert is starting to bloom.

And last week, in poetry class, we each got individual assignments. Mine was to write about something BIG--a war, a natural disaster, etc. Arghh. Now, I write about small things, ordinary things, I am kin to Dickinson, not Whitman. But I set myself to do it, and I'm not sure how it happened but somehow a poem about the Alabama Cherokee and Trail of Tears came out. Near Florence, there's a man who's spent years building a wall, a memorial to the tragedy. So here's another stone for the remembering.

The Sun Was Unclouded--

“The Cherokees are a peaceable, harmless people, but you may drive them to desperation, and this treaty cannot be carried into effect except by the strong arm of force.”
-Major William M. Davis, 1837

How can I put you in a poem, dustfoot
people? Your trees were faithless, in the end.
How you wove rivers in the skin and glassed
the long hut after all. The forest went wild
for grief after you left. Oh sweet warrior,
first friend, the smoke and salt of you lingered
long after the cane broke. How many calloused
eyes, how much broken before the wheels?
The tear-pocked dust should have swollen, crumbled
into earth red earth, sprouted sudden
mountains on the empty distant line of land and sky.
If the rocks rose up to cave you, if your graves
mounded numb and deep, if you somehow found
eastern sky again, if the trees refused to cover
your desperate bare--if anyone tried to say
you were fully desirous--then know your blood
was too fresh for them, too wooded,
too earth for that manifest. Real people, know
your soft language still tongues their brain.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

what's lost

Sometimes, sad things happen.

I know. Understatement of the century. I'm an English major, but with all the poetry and gorgeous literature in the world, still simple language serves us best sometimes.

Thirteen days ago, the Sweet Dog was hit by a car. He's alive, I don't know how. Only the vet couldn't save his right hind leg, so now Mo is home and learning how to get around again.

It feels foolish to grieve over an injured dog. You don't know how people are going to take it, because obviously it's a lot bigger deal to us than them. I mean, we make fun of the folks who take their animals too seriously. I'm not a blindly infatuated animal person, I promise.

But. It's sad.

And the whole time I've been home has been a rapid wash of two emotions: the sadness of seeing a more subdued Mo learn how to live on three legs. And the gladness and sheer wonder that he's still here and still with us. I guess this is our existence, yes? The rebellion at the way things go wrong - he should still have all four legs. Sweet dumb Mo was not meant to live this way. And the grace in the way things go right - he also should be dead. But he isn't. He's ok and he's healing and I'm awfully glad this crazy dog is still here to lick my face and chase more balls.

And if it's only autumn and the desire for security and rest and hope that keeps me from turning away from these words in bitterness - well then, I'll take it.

Only love can turn this around
I wake up dreaming
Everything we've lost can be found
We'll wake up dreaming
-Over the Rhine