Saturday, November 20, 2010

Reminder of our good book

Our old dictionary
in which we look up meanings

It stands at the ragged ready:

Today we made our daily reading of Garrison Keillor's Writers Almanac, and read his poem of the day, 11-20-10, titled 'Inheritance'.

by W. S. Merwin

At my elbow on the table

it lies open as it has done

for a good part of these thirty

years ever since my father died

and it passed into my hands

this Webster's New International

Dictionary of the English Language of 1922

on India paper which I was always forbidden to touch

for fear I would tear or somehow

damage its delicate pages

heavy in their binding

this color of wet sand

on which thin waves hover

when it was printed he was twenty-six

they had not been married four years

he was a country preacher

in a one-store town and I suppose

a man came to the door one day

peddling this new dictionary

on fine paper like the Bible

at an unrepeatable price

and it seemed it would represent

a distinction just to own it

confirming something about him

that he could not even name

now its cover is worn as though

it had been carried on journeys

across the mountains and deserts

of the earth but it has been here

beside me the whole time

what has frayed it like that

loosening it gnawing at it

all through these years

I know I must have used it

much more than he did but always

with care and indeed affection

turning the pages patiently

in search of meanings



Letter to SRN from Bob Heeschen of St. Paul. MN rec'd 11-20-10:

David, I had not seen any raccoons in the neighborhood for a long time, until yesterday morning. Around 4:00 AM I looked outside and saw four of them in the yard. My granddaughter had built a snowman in front and used a carrot and some graham crackers for facial features. The 'coons enjoyed this. After a few minutes, a car approached from the west and they all ran into the storm sewer at my corner. Ain't nature fun?

Bob Heeschen