Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Bye, Crow!"

"Bye, Crow!", originally uploaded by Sparky2*.
I pointed out the Carrion Crow to Lukas (almost two) as it headed our way and he joyfully shouted a greeting ... "Hi, Crow!" followed by a less enthusiastic "Bye, Crow" seconds later. Once again the moment reminded me of this wonderful poem that I've posted before, I know ... but it's so poignant and true that it bears a repeated sharing:

That Woman
. ~~ by Sarah Getty

Look! A flash of orange along the river's edge--
"oriole!" comes to your lips like instinct, then
it's vanished--lost in the foliage,

in all your head holds, getting on with the day.
But not gone for good. There is that woman
walks unseen beside you with her apron

pockets full. Days later, or years, when you least
seem to need it--reading Frost on the subway,
singing over a candled cake--she'll reach

into a pocket and hand you this intact
moment--the river, the orange streak parting
the willow, and the "oriole!" that leapt

to your lips. Unnoticed, steadfast, she gathers
all this jumble, sorts it, hands it back like
prizes from Crackerjack. She is your mother,

who first said, "Look! a robin!" and pointed,
and there was a robin, because her own
mother had said to her, "Look!" and pointed,

and so on, back to the beginning: the mother,
the child, and the world. The damp bottom
on one arm and pointing with the other:

the peach tree, the small rocks in the shallows,
the moon and the man in the moon. So you keep on,
seeing, forgetting, faithfully followed;

and you yourself, unwitting, gaining weight,
have thinned to invisibility, become
that follower. Even now, your daughter

doesn't see you at her elbow as she walks
the beach. There! a gull dips to the Pacific,
and she points and says to the baby, "Look!"

Uploaded by Sparky2* on 13 Mar 11, 2.59PM CDT.


  1. I love this poem by Sarah Getty... it's a mirror in which I can see my daughters (when they were little girls) and me, rambling through woods and fields or along a river... and a future image: my daughters with their own kids, rambling through woods and fields or along a river...

    Furthermore, the poem reminds me of another one, by Margaret Atwood:

    You begin this way:
    this is your hand,
    this is your eye,
    that is a fish, blue and flat
    on the paper, almost
    the shape of an eye.
    This is your mouth, this is an O
    or a moon, whichever
    you like. This is yellow.

    Outside the window
    is the rain, green
    because it is summer, and beyond that
    the trees and then the world,
    which is round and has only
    the colors of these nine crayons.

    This is the world, which is fuller
    and more difficult to learn than I have said.
    You are right to smudge it that way
    with the red and then
    the orange: the world burns.

    Once you have learned these words
    you will learn that there are more
    words than you can ever learn.
    The word hand floats above your hand
    like a small cloud over a lake.
    The word hand anchors
    your hand to this table,
    your hand is a warm stone
    I hold between two words.

    This is your hand, these are my hands, this is the world,
    which is round but not flat and has more colors
    than we can see.

    It begins, it has an end,
    this is what you will
    come back to, this is your hand.

    By, Susan :-)

  2. Susan, on my dashboard feed it shows four copies of a new post about daisies, and nothing shows up in here at all! I think there's a glitch somewhere. Can you put me on your automatic email list to receive your posts? it may be the only way I can get them. Thanks, Liz