Friday, May 19, 2006

Poetry Friday: the Word is "YELLOW"

I'm home with Boy-child today. He got over the puke-i-ness for the most part, but then spiked a fever (100.4 in one year, 101.3 in the other...I don't think those ear thermometers are entirely reliable). So he got another day off, and is still sleeping. Lucky boy.

The Poetry Friday/Group Blogging Masturbation Word is "Yellow". Feel free to explore this word, to caress it, to lick it, to put it on a pedestal, to cover it up with a blanket. Neatness need not be applied to this word, go ahead and git dirty.

I have just two contributions today, the beginning of a story and a Five-Minute Free-Write, done this morning while waiting for the 'magic time' to call Boy-child's teacher to ask about homework. She said the kids are dropping like flies, about a quarter of her class is sick. Ah springtime, when the germs flourish.

Anyway, on to Poetry Friday, and the word "yellow".


It was a yellow meal.

Baked chicken, buttered noodles, corn, buttered biscuit.

Ever since that bullet got lodged in mom’s brain, and she lost her sense of smell, she’d been cooking “Meals With a Theme”. She was into colours lately, monochromatic, rainbow, or in the style of a famous painter (you should have seen the Chagall Dinner, all splashes of beets and mounds of peas and nearly raw beef. Ugh. She knows I hate beets).

Mom grabbed her nightly glass of Piesporter and ka-clomped to the table, dragging her bum leg in that graceful way she’d managed to perfect.

“Guess what’s for dessert? Lemon pie!” Mom giggled at herself and tucked into her plate.

Brian and I giggled with her. The change in our Mom had been unbelievable and quick. Where we used to compare her, silently, in the basement den, to “Mommy Dearest” (even down to the wire coat hangars, I swear to god), now she was this happy, carefree woman who sang when washing dishes and took fifteen minutes out of every evening to brush my hair.

I have to say the hair brushing was my favourite part. I would take the bench from Mom’s makeup table and put it near her bed. She’d sit on the edge of the bed and I’d sit on the bench, my back to her. She’d gotten this soft-bristled brush in France, on her honeymoon with the man I should call Dad but now called Fucktard Criminal #A872938. She’d take my mess of waist-length hair and bunch it in a ponytail, and brush just the ends, until it didn’t pull and the tangles were out. Then she’d loosen the ponytail and brush the back, from my part down, gently. The sides next, carefully over my left ear and even more carefully over what remained of my right ear. She suggested after ‘That Night’ that I part my hair so it fell over that particular deformity, covered it, because high school is cruel enough without having teenagers constantly stare and point at you and whisper viciously to their friends as you walk down the hall to Civics class.

Small towns are hard to grow up in. They’re even harder when you’re known as the daughter of a psycho.

Five-Minute Free-Write

I did this thing as a kid, as did all the kids round here, with dandelions. You’d pick one, stick it under your friend’s chin, and ask, do you like butter? And if the dandelion made a yellow cast on their skin you’d say, ‘Yes, you do!” Growing up I lived in the country on a small plot of land, about 3 acres, most of it trees and lawn. Every spring it would turn yellow with the bobbing heads of dandelions. My dad would take a bucket, grab my siblings and me, and we’d pick the sunny things, pull them off at the stem top, plop into the bucket. It would take us a long time to pick, and at the end, dad would very seriously say, “Now, this handful (taking a good hundred or so in two hands) we’ll fry up and eat. The rest goes into wine.” Mom made the best fried things, and if we were lucky, we’d have fried dandelion tops with fried morels, if we went mushroom hunting that day in the woods across the road, where an abandoned, crumbling house made the perfect soil for finding the spongy pointy-topped beauties. We didn’t know how much of a delicacy those mushrooms were, how

Have a good weekend y' well!


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