|me & my beautiful mommy at guru's birthday brunch|
many families hold their reunions around the fourth as out-of-towners like to come for the festivities. our reunion is always held on the 3rd in Midway, so my birthday is always a holiday of sorts. (i may have an overblown sense of importance since my mom told me how my birth was accompanied by fireworks.)
yesterday, my mom, sisters and daughters had birthday brunch at guru's.
|ingrid is the baked good queen at exoskeleton. birthday watercolor by moses.|
|is eva becoming a farmer?|
|uncle tom's teepee, fire in alpine.|
|annual whitaker family reunion cakewalk. c. playing harmonium in the background.|
|sample one: sasha and eve|
|sample two: ruby and baby lara|
|slopping the pigs|
|trying to get evie to give me a little birthday kiss|
this fourth of july poem by gregory djanikian will give you a small sense of how i feel in provo in the hardcore patriot season here. i sometimes feel like an immigrant here--somewhat baffled by the weeping and waving, but also intrigued and amused.
and, because this poem is in what i would call the billy collins school, more narrative & expository than poetic, i almost don't wanna put it up. but it's apropos, so i will. it will be fleetingly expressive of a momentary emotion.
It's the Fourth of July, the flags
are painting the town,
the plastic forks and knives
are laid out like a parade.
And I'm grilling, I've got my apron,
I've got potato salad, macaroni, relish,
I've got a hat shaped
like the state of Pennsylvania.
I ask my father what's his pleasure
and he says, "Hot dog, medium rare,"
and then, "Hamburger, sure,
what's the big difference,"
as if he's really asking.
I put on hamburgers and hot dogs,
slice up the sour pickles and Bermudas,
uncap the condiments. The paper napkins
are fluttering away like lost messages.
"You're running around," my mother says,
"like a chicken with its head loose."
"Ma," I say, "you mean cut off,
loose and cut off being as far apart
as, say, son and daughter."
She gives me a quizzical look as though
I've been caught in some impropriety.
"I love you and your sister just the same," she says,
"Sure," my grandmother pipes in,
"you're both our children, so why worry?"
That's not the point I begin telling them,
and I'm comparing words to fish now,
like the ones in the sea at Port Said,
or like birds among the date palms by the Nile,
unrepentantly elusive, wild.
"Sonia," my father says to my mother,
"what the hell is he talking about?"
"He's on a ball," my mother says.
"That's roll!" I say, throwing up my hands,
"as in hot dog, hamburger, dinner roll...."
"And what about roll out the barrels?" my mother asks,
and my father claps his hands, "Why sure," he says,
"let's have some fun," and launches
into a polka, twirling my mother
around and around like the happiest top,
and my uncle is shaking his head, saying
"You could grow nuts listening to us,"
and I'm thinking of pistachios in the Sinai
burgeoning without end,
pecans in the South, the jumbled
flavor of them suddenly in my mouth,
crowding out everything else.