Thursday, December 24, 2020

 Christmas Eve, and thanks to the stupid cat I am awake too early.

Now he is crouching, slit-eyed, on the kitchen stool: tail switching, ears back, ready to eat Santa as soon as the sleigh arrives. And if Santa doesn't get here soon, he'll eat me instead.

This morning, first thing (if the cat doesn't eat me), I need to pick up our seafood order at the fish market: 2 pounds of littlenecks, a dozen oysters, half a pound of picked crab. Paul is taking charge of cooking the clams, Tom's dealing with the oysters, so the crab is my culinary responsibility. Yesterday I made baguettes, and for tonight's appetizer I'll slice one into rounds, toast them in the oven, and spread each with mashed avocado. Then I'll top the toasts with crab tossed in lime juice and pepper and garnish them with slivered kumquat.

In other words, my cooking chores today are short and sweet. I'm not even making dessert: Paul ordered Tom a key lime cheesecake baked by the nuns of New Skete, New York, so that's what we'll be enjoying after dinner.

Starting tonight, Portland is supposed to get slammed with heavy rain and 60 mph winds. If you don't hear from me, assume that my power is out. But I'll be thinking of you. And here's an early gift, a poem, dedicated to my poet-friend Kerrin McCadden . . . a love lyric via my memories of playing with a Fisher-Price barn and house set.

Love Poem from a Tiny Husband

Dawn Potter


                        for Kerrin McCadden


Some mornings your giant cracks open

the roof latch of your Fisher-Price house

just to watch you dream. You gaze into her eyes

as you roll gently on your yellow plastic couch.

If you had arms, they would swing like a child’s.


You are an apple core, a thumb.

Carefully, your giant snaps off your fireman’s helmet,

snaps on your baseball cap. Next door,

the barn moos. White chickens tilt in the loft.

Your dog’s legs bend every which way.


Crowd them into the house, your giant croons.

Let every kitchen shelter a horse.

Soon she will rise into the sky and steam west.

Every day, it’s her job to visit a character in a book.

Yours is to sit backwards in the bowl of your tractor,


pondering the hillocks of carpet.

This is how you earn your keep.

For now, though, you bask among her strong fingers.

At her command, you sway on your invisible feet.

No one is luckier than you,


for you adore a woman who invents all of the stories.

And when those stories are done,

your dear giant kisses the top of your round head,

tucks you into bed at noon,

and invites you to sleep for the rest of her life.


1 comment:

Ruth said...

­čĺť I have no words to do this justice