Two entries from November

For a very short part of November, I decided to write a "poem" every day. The writing turned out to be reflective, but not quite traditionally poetic. I thought I'd share two of the posts here. 

November 2

A Typical Day

It was Sunday so I made scrambled eggs served with toast and strawberry jam from a local farm. The mason jar had a homemade sticker and a square of checkered linen tucked between the rim and the lid. It reminded me of picnics I read about in children’s books back home. Cold sandwiches and fresh fruit and milk and cheese and happy children.

It was chilly but the sun was out. We had visitors and everyone was wearing Giants sweatshirts to celebrate the World Series win. “You have to teach me enough about sports so I can at least hold a superficial conversation,” I whispered to my husband. I made tea. Children ran around the coffee table in a post-Halloween candied craze. I wished for a backyard.

My husband said, “Oh no. The BBC has an update. ‘More than 50 people were killed and at least 100 injured in a suicide bombing close to Pakistan's only border crossing with India.’” We became quiet for a moment. The children kept running, their giggles sounding manic in the silence. “Please don’t say such things in front of the children,” I said and carried the tea things to the kitchen.

For the rest of the afternoon, we talked about college funds and good school districts. I am feeling cramped in this townhouse. I want a backyard. I really want a backyard.

November 1

Old Novembers

How did November come to pass in those years, in that city?

It was such an in-between month. The monsoons were gone, but the winter hadn’t quite arrived.

Mid-month we would celebrate my mother’s birthday with magic-markered messages on sheets of recycled newsprint and a dinner at Mei-Kong where we got toasted almonds on warm stoneware saucers before the meal. The residue of salt on fingertips is still so vivid in my memory that I find myself tracing thumb over index finger in circles, trying to find the abrasive particles, to lick them off.

But what about all other days? The rest of November? When did the fog start rolling in? When did the street vendors set up tea stalls? When did mother bring down suitcases of winter clothes and boxes of chenille comforters from the attic? Was November the harbinger of seasonal change?

No crisp memories. No concrete answers.

Time is lost in time.

Photo by Rebecca McCue