rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,
rejectomorph
flying_blind

Tilt

I heard a dog barking, moving up the nearby main road. Every few seconds it would bark again, having moved a couple of hundred feet north. It was probably riding in the back of a pickup truck, as so many dogs do in these parts, or maybe it was hanging its head from the window of a car, but either way it found plenty to bark at in the passing world. I listened to it until it moved out of earshot, somewhere up where the road tops the long hill and then dips to bend along the canyon. The dog found the world more fascinating than I find it today.

I've been remembering how on Sundays the neighborhood store was closed and how, if we didn't go away somewhere that day, I always felt a sense of confinement as a result of not having the store available. Sometimes I would walk up the hill and look at he deserted store and think about the soft drinks sitting in the cooler and the ice cream and Popsicles in the freezer, all trapped behind that locked door. For some reason I never planned ahead when I was a kid. I could have bought something for Sunday easily enough the day before. But then, had I done that, I think I'd have still missed the act of going into the store and buying something, just the way I missed seeing the local bus pass by on Sundays even though I probably wouldn't have used it even had it been running. It was the ritual I missed, and the familiarity. The fact is I never much liked Sundays. I don't like days when things shut down. I've always liked the weekends, but Sundays only became tolerable to me when they became more like Saturdays, with most of the stores open.

I was never much of a fan of holidays either. They were a disruption of the pattern. I didn't mind getting a day off of school, but I was displeased by the fact that they were more like Sundays than like Saturdays. What I most recall is how isolated I felt on those days. For some reason today feels like that.

Know what? I have no idea WTF I'm blathering about right now. I couldn't find anything interesting for dinner so I just had some peanut butter on crackers and to make it tolerable I had an extra bottle of beer, and then another extra bottle of beer. (Sierra Nevada Summerfest is, by the way, a very tasty lager and I wish they made it year round.) Anyway, I'm buzzed and therefore make no sense. Ignore the preceding.

Oh, this, right?

Sunday Verse


                    Running

                by Richard Wilbur


                       I. 1933
            (North Caldwell, New Jersey)

    What were we playing? Was it prisoner's base?
    I ran with whacking keds
    Down the cart road past Rickard's place,
    And where it dropped beside the tractor-sheds

    Leapt out into the air above a blurred 
    Terrain, through jolted light,
    Took two hard lopes, and at the third
    Spanked off a hummock-side exactly right,

    And made the turn, and with delighted strain
    Sprinted across the flat
    By the bull-pen, and up the lane.
    Thinking of happiness, I think of that.
    
                  II. PATRIOT'S DAY
             Wellesley, Massachusetts)

  Restless that noble day, appeased by soft
  Drinks and tobacco, littering the grass
  While the flag snapped and brightened far aloft,
  We waited for the marathon to pass.

  We fathers and our little sons, let out
  Of school and office to be put to shame.
  Now from the street-side someone raised a shout,
  And into view the first small runners came.

  Dark in the glare, they seemed to thresh in place
  Like preening flies upon a windowsill,
  Yet gained and grew, and at a cruel pace
  Swept by us on their way to Heartbreak Hill--

  Legs driving, fists at port, clenched faces, men
  And, in amongst them, stamping on the sun,
  Our champion, Kelley, who would win again,
  Rocked in his will, at rest within his run.

            III. DODWELL'S ROAD
      (Cummington, Massachusetts)

I jog up out of the woods
To the crown of the road, and slow to a swagger there,
The wind harsh and cool to my throat,
A good ache in my rib-cage.

Loud burden of streams at run-off,
And the sun's rocket frazzled in blown tree-heads:
Still I am part of that great going,
Though I stroll now, and am watchful.

Where the road turns and debouches,
The land sinks westward into exhausted pasture.
From fields which yield to aspen now
And pine at last will shadow,

Boy-shouts reach me, and barking.
What is the thing which men will not surrender?
It is what they have never had, I think,
Or missed in its true season,

So that their thoughts turn in 
At the same roadhouse nightly, the same cloister,
The wild mouth of the same brave river
Never now to be charted.

You, whoever you are,
If you want to walk with me you must step lively.
I run, too, when the mood offers, 
Though the god of that has left me.

But why in the hell spoil it?
I make a clean gift of my young running
To the two boys who break into view,
Hurdling the rocks and racing,

Their dog dodging before them
This way and that, his yaps flushing a pheasant
Who lifts from the blustery grass
Flying full tilt already.
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