Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lenten Sonnet #40


The moon’s recused itself. It hangs in the sky
Like any other ceiling light to which
Your thinning blood has learned not to reply.
Still, in the cool blue evening, slicing a peach,
Pressing the knife down through the dripping sweet
Orange-pink opulence, heady as the drone
Of flies at midsummer, you almost meet
Yourself again, that humid year the telephone
Was always going to ring, and didn’t. That
Time when hope was its own realization,
And any house you passed at dusk was lit for you.
Now your own house spills light into the street.
Your children come home here. You've become a nation
Which outlives you. Which is your old life made new.


I wish I could have thought of something more actually, obviously Lenten for the fortieth sonnet of this Lenten season, but after a Saturday of making Italian Easter bread with ten little girls at church, then coming home to plan my lesson on the Mass for First Communion class and  oversee the bath queue, then going back to church for the blessing of a friend's marriage, then going to the Bi-Lo to buy dog food for the putatively stray dog hanging out with my kids on the church playground (because the other option, lobbied for in some quarters, was to put the dog in the car and take him home with us, to the certain dismay of the dog we already have, to whom all the couches belong), then remembering that we actually hadn't eaten any more than the putatively stray dog supposedly had in hours and hours and so going out to dinner unplannedly and getting home late . . .

Anyway, this sonnet is what turned up, like a putatively stray dog. And here we see the first and last and definitive lesson of the Great Lenten Sonnet Writing:  you don't get to choose what putatively stray dog appears on your doorstep. Whatever turns up turns up, and either you don't feed it or you do.

This really is it for the sonnets for now. A blessed Holy Week and a joyful Eastertide to all.


steve said...

I think you have been saving the best stray dog for last.Happy holy week, or as they say on Google blogs, "lyzyma antrand," or something like that.

Sally Thomas said...

It's just what followed me home. And ergish itedice to you, too.

lissla lissar said...

Ah, well, seermha esuchis to everyone!

Blessed Holy Week!

lissla lissar said...

I though this was neat- I just pulled down an old issue of First Things, and there's an opinion piece which I assume is by you, about England and dirt and people complaining. Am I right? Is it your writing?

It was good, and I dimly remember reading it four years ago, and enjoying it then.

If it isn't by you, how many homeschooling poets are there with your name who've lived in both England and America?

Sally Thomas said...

Oh, yes, that's me all right. Glad you liked that piece.

Sarah Johnson said...

"We forge our style on the terrible anvil of daily deadlines." -- Emil Zola. Just heard that and thought you might like it. It's been a privilege to have this glimpse into your work as a poet. Happy Holy Week!

Sally Thomas said...

Indeed! That's wonderful and, as I've realized this Lent, very true, which makes me think that I ought not to toss the daily deadlines after Easter.

But maybe something other than sonnets for a while . . .

BettyDuffy said...

PLease put me down for a copy of whatever volume you decide to publish these in. I will pay.

And whatever you do, submit the manuscript to something really big, some prestigious contest. I think you'll win.

Sally Thomas said...

Thanks, Elizabeth! You're hitting some serious home-runs yourself these days, I must say. Well done, and a blessed Triduum to you and yours.