Archive - Staff Blog
October 5th, 2015
Fences Without Borders
My neighbor leans a shovel against his wild
apple, so it appears he, or someone, can shovel
a tree-full of drops under the electric fence.
The cows wander over this fifth day
of October our government is making excuses
for the bombs they dropped undercover.
The cows risk themselves for sweet, rotting apples.
So we can see bodies stacked by a trunk.
Stuff expands to fill the space available.
I’m not a physicist, but I’m pretty sure that’s a proven fact. It may even fall under Newton’s first law of motion: an object in motion will not change its velocity unless an external force acts upon it. Except in this case, the objects in motion are our family’s possessions, and the external force is me.
I am on a mission to get rid of our stuff.
Sea of White Apple Blossoms
With all this presidential hopeful fear
of uninvited immigrants, I’m happy
to be standing in line at customer
service, behind a Jamaican man, wiring
home money to his family on the island.
Seeing his smooth hands, the apple-picking
kind, a stem between his teeth, his Jamaican
toothpick. He and his friends wear their famous
knitted pullover hats, in this fall time
“It only gets really hot in Vermont for about one week every summer.”
That’s what we tell ourselves here in order to make ourselves feel better about Vermont’s widespread lack of central air conditioning.
“So, what does one wear to butcher chickens?” I asked my friend Courtney over the phone. We were confirming our plans for the following night; I was focusing on the priorities. (The answer, in case you were wondering, is: anything that you don’t mind coming into contact with blood, guts, feathers, and – above all – that chicken smell.)
July 20, 2002, 8 AM
I spent the night with my mother at The Colony Club on Park Avenue in New York City, where the wedding reception will take place.
I didn’t sleep much; I was too excited. Instead, I finished reading The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien’s masterful novel about the Vietnam War: an odd reading choice for a bride-to-be, perhaps, but it definitely takes my mind off of the wedding.
Celebrating 100 Years of Middlebury Language Schools
Can I say a word I haven’t said before,
speak in a field’s blossoming tongue?
Pledge to keep my pledge, speak
only in the school I’m in? To learn one
phrase more, to sound as if I was born there
and not here among (oh, I’m saying it)
the world of Vermont’s girosoles.
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