For a Five-Year-Old by Fleur Adcock A snail is climbing up the window-sill into your room, after a night of rain. You call me in to see, and I explain that it would be unkind to leave it there: it might crawl to the floor; we must take care that no one squashes it. You understand, and carry it outside, with careful hand, to eat a daffodil. I see, then, that a kind of faith prevails: your gentleness is moulded still by words from me, who have trapped mice and shot wild birds from me, who drowned your kittens, who betrayed your closest relatives, and who purveyed the harshest kind of truth to many another. But that is how things are: I am your mother, and we are kind to snails.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
It's can't help but be a good day when I have a cup of steaming hot coffee with a healthy glug of eggnog in it. And when K&K are coming over for supper. This morning I started reading the second book of poetry compiled by Garrison Keillor. This book much more has a theme...after all, they are "Good Poems for Hard Times." Keillor writes "This is a book of poems that if I knew you better and if you were in a hard passage I might send you one or two of along with a note, the way people used to do, believing in the bracing effect of bold writing....These poems describe a common life. It is good to know about this. I hope you take courage from it." So far I've read the first section, entitled "Kindness to Snails," and almost every poem made me tear up. Maybe I'm just in a teary mood at present. Actually, that's quite possible. On the other hand, perhaps one's soul should always be open to experiencing strong emotions of one sort or the other; to being empathetic to sorrow and joy, to be compassionate, to throw caution to the wind and make oneself vulnerable to love and hurt.