Friday, November 30, 2012

A Fewness of Vember

There was plenty of vember just a little while ago. But then it got swamped by a rockfall of weather...and an election the size of an asteroid...topped off by the usual visitation of the giant Turkey, accoutered in buckle hat and blunderbuss, with tail feathers stiff and erect in whatever colors you like, but owned by black: stepping across the highways, gobble-gobble-gobble-gobbling, horribly, but meaning no harm. In fact, that long word Thanksgiving, longer than Halloween, longer than Candlemas, hearkens back to a more pious time when people said "gramercy" and "Goodness gracious" and gave prayers of thanksgiving around harvest time. That's what that naked wattly gobble means.

But there were only thirty days of vember, it's one of the humble "hath" months that wears its pants too short, you can see its ankles above its socks, for pete's sake, like june and april and too-short september too. Why not January instead? And now there's none left, no crickets arrayed to carry the tune, no leaves above the waist of the copper beech, no slice of bread to lean against the heel, no stalks of gingembre, no nutmeg for the eggnog, no, no vember!

But all it wanted was a nice elegy, something redolent of burnished blue hard-enamel afternoons and gunmetal gray overcasts, to have felt well-used, hard-working, and it was. In our house it started with "To Kill a Mockingbird," high school play starring Matt Ober as Atticus Finch, the other bird; and ended with a flurry of poems (one below) and two college apps, pointing west to Austin, Texas and southern California. 


And the death of a dear cousin, Amy Ober, which no one expected, no one was ready for. We miss her and our dreams are strange and shattered. How can we be walking around without her?


Lying on my bed staring at the ceiling
The bees are vanishing
The water's rising
The banks are failing
The sun is aligned with Jupiter
The lambs are crying
The winds are blowing backwards
The hourglass is empty
And all I can think about is you.

Matt Ober

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