Saturday, August 8, 2009

Liturgy


I grew up in Orange County, seasonless,
but with a sense of occasion and ritual:
black patent leather for Christmas,
white patent leather for Easter,
and Buster Browns for ordinary time.
My parents baptized me with a small b
in a chlorine blue pool, where I teared up,
and knew I was loved.
I began each school year
by pulling up my kneesocks, an outward
sign that I took school seriously
and needed my teacher to like me.
But not until my mid-thirties move north
did I feel the crunch of dead leaves
beneath my boots, and the silence
of snow ringing in my ears. Time passes
with a sense of ceremony here—
each season dons the appropriate vestments,
and opens up my sinuses with its own
incense, earthy and ethereal. It is
as it should be, the earth should mark
its own calendar and give me
a real Reason to change my shoes.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Erin,

    I really enjoyed experiencing the memories you have brought forward and the strong sense of the seasons, elements, the change of the year(s). I love the words "and the silence/of snow ringing in my ears".

    I hope everyone else comes to read it.

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  2. Frankly, I think you DID get future in it. There's a sense of continuation. I never had Buster Browns, but I remember the jingle/rhyme.

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  3. Lovely. I adore all the seasons and could not agree more :-).

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  4. I love the mix of faith and place in this poem.

    You've captured many a moment here.

    Nicely written, Erin.

    `x~William.

    Ps: I lived in Marin County,Ca. for 27 years. Your poem brought me back a bit.
    Going North for the snow...

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  5. Beautiful. I miss having true four seasons in this valley, but in the years I've lived here we have had a handful of winters with snow to break the monotony of the rain. Winter 2008 was a real winter, Christmas was white, and I loved having a Reason to wear boots!

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  6. Erin,

    I really enjoyed the sense of Childhood and the two seasons (Christian and - what's the word? - natural?) superimposed. It gives a beautiful image of what it was like where you grew up, even though I've never been anywhere like it :).

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  7. really liked this poem. love the images, the clarity, the senses, the baptize with lower b, the shoes, your parents, the north, the leaves ... nice!

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  8. The details here take us on the reminiscing trip, too. I love the fact that all the images are closely related to and in fact reinforce the theme. Enjoyed the witty closing, too. ;) Cheers.

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  9. Thanks for all of the kind words, everyone! Glad you enjoyed the seasons and the imagery. Welcome, S.L. Corusa!

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