Friday, November 26, 2010

A Perfect Day to Kidnap Mom--a different kind of Thanksgiving poem for Poetry Friday

Happy After-Thanksgiving!   

Before running out the door to buy-buy-buy, sit back and watch The Story of Stuff.  At least watch the first seven minutes.  Really. 

But...if you really want something--how 'bout a book?  You may still have time to participate in our book giveaway!  To qualify, your entry must be posted by 11 p.m. Friday, November 26, 2010 (Central Standard Time).  Here's JoAnn's interview with the author, Ann Angel.  Before entering our contest, please read our Book Giveaway Guidelines.

You may be in the middle of NaNoWriMoCarmela has commented on this and how she's modified NaNoWriMo to fit her life.  If you're writing--however that looks in your life--my hat's off to you!  Participating in this year's Poem A Day Challenge absolutely changed my life. It changed so much, in fact, that I've been writing a poem a day for 236 days...or seven months and 22 days (and sending each one to my friend Bruce as he sails around the world).

So here's a poem I wrote this week.  Not a kid's poem. Just a poem from me--to you. I hope your
Thanksgiving was warm and wonderful.

by April Halprin Wayland

 This morning I woke with a huge burlap sack of guilt
 about not being in town
 with my 88-year-old mother
 for Thanksgiving.

 Today was a perfect day to kidnap her.
 I poked around the internet, found an easy hike—
 terrific, except it was in Thousand Oaks,
 which always feels terribly far, like Romania, to Mom.

 I phoned her:
 “Pretend I’m Alan Alda
 and I’m inviting you somewhere, okay?”
 Okay, she said—except for the Thousand Oaks part.

 She would have gone to Thousand Oaks for Alan Alda.
 “I’ll ring you back,” I said.
 I hunted more.  I found
 Malibu Creek State Park.

 We drove north on Pacific Coast Highway
 on this after-rain day—
 everything green and blue and glisten-y,
 Mom oohing and ahhing as we cruised past the grey-blue Pacific.

Crushing layers of oak leaves,
we saw a huge blue heron, still as a tree.
Then it lifted,
its wings spread wide as awnings.

 We saw a rabbit, which, yes, had a white tail.
 We saw ground squirrels
 popping out of holes like an arcade game,
 and crowds of crows.

 “Crows remember a human that’s mistreated them,” I told her.
 “And one crow will describe him so other crows keep their distance—though they’ve never seen him before,” I said.
 “How do you say ‘a big nose and receding hairline’ in crow?” she asked.

 We saw three deer.
 The first, reddish, made its way down the slope towards a dry creek bed.
 The others, grey, stately; turned to stare.
 Later, they bounded across a field and up a hill—as beautiful as the flight of the heron.

 It was a short walk.
 Mom and I, hand-in-hand.
 She: bending over more than I remember,
 grateful to be healthy,

happy to be outside, surprised by this day.
Me: breathing rain-dampened oak,
surprised, too
by a different kind of thanksgiving.

poem & drawing (c) 2010 April Halprin Wayland


Amanda Hoving said...

Well, that was lovely (and funny) -- who can resist Alan Alda? Happy day after T-day!

Carmela Martino said...

Love the poem, and the drawing, April.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Absolutely--who CAN resist Mr. Good Guy, Alan Alda? Thanks, Amanda and Carmela ~ Happy day-to-walk-off-all-that-turkey!