Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Erin,



I’m sorry that I made a big mess
It was a bad one, I do confess,
but thank you so much for cleaning it up,
the dirty shirt, the scattered cards, the spilled cup,
whatever else I left on the floor,
and even that brown smudge on the door,
I see that it is clean.
The whole house is clean.
You made everything clean.

Thanks for all the good things
you have done and you have said.
Thanks for sharing the blanket
when it’s time to go to bed.
Thank you for bringing warmth
into this small, cold house.
Thank you for being my friend, 
and thank you for being my spouse. 

Payson Roundup Tacitly Endorses Rabbit Abuse!

The editors of the Payson Roundup must be in cahoots with bunny peddlers! They refused to publish this letter to the editor my mother-in-law and I co-wrote a few weeks ago.

Editor:

On the day after Thanksgiving I had an enjoyable evening with my husband, my children and my grandchildren walking around Swiss Village. We went into art and music shops, nibbled delicious cookies and sipped hot cocoa, listened to a country band play Christmas carols, and we even saw Santa. Thanks to all the people behind the scenes, merchants and city leaders, who make this wonderful annual event happen.

However, there was one attraction that night that did not attract me. In fact, it repulsed me. There was a small plastic pool filled with cold water. The water must have been very cold because the temperature that night was in the forties. In the water were glass bowls that floated. On the ground outside the pool, there were a bunch of rabbits huddled up together. The lady running the attraction handed out balls, for a small fee, to children, and the children tried to throw the balls into the bowls. If their ball landed in a bowl, guess what they got? A rabbit.

There are a few problems with this. First, the baby rabbits were cold. They got even colder when the frigid water splashed onto them. How do you think a grandmother like me feels when she sees cute animals being mistreated this way? How do you think the rabbits feel?

But perhaps worst of all is the very idea of “winning” a “free” rabbit and taking it home that night. Do you think these children were prepared to care for a rabbit? Do you think that the kids had the appropriate food, shelter, and equipment for owning a rabbit? Probably not.

So to whoever is in charge of organizing the Christmas activities, if you want to bring the rabbits back next year, that’s fine. But next time, put them in a warm display case or even in a humane petting zoo. Don’t keep them out in the cold, splash them with ice-cold water, and don’t dispense them as prizes to children who are unprepared to properly care for them.

On a Cereal Box for Children

An arc of bright marshmallows
set stark on a sparkling cover.
Extending from the open palms of the little man
dressed in green are the chunks of sugar:
heart, star, horseshoe, shamrock,
blue moon, golden pot, rainbow, balloon.
Eight marshmallows, expanding,
and the leprechaun’s upward-gazing eyes
lock upon the words “Giant Size.”

And indeed the size is giant.
The magnitude of this box,
the weight of this dry, cold cereal,
the expanding force of the sparkles,
have not yet been calculated,
no, cannot be calculated,
by the instruments contrived
by the minds of men.

This is no mere breakfast.

And the charm-eating children
who aren’t so lucky-
what are they getting?
More than a meal,
and more than 110 calories
per ¾ cup serving.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

There Ought To Be Words

There ought to be words
when the Eternal God causes
another baby to be born.

There ought to be words
when from innocence
these children are torn.

There ought to be words
when a bride is presented
to a groom to be married.

There ought to be words
when dead bodies are
dressed, lowered and buried.

And when the new priest
sits in the old priest’s seat,
and when the next chief
cuts into animal meat,
there ought to be words,
words of the ceremony
words of the Big Soul.

And after the words,
there ought to be silence.