Frame – Claudia Emerson

Most of the things you made for me – armless
rocker, blanket chest, lap desk – I gave away
to friends who could use them and not be reminded
of the hours lost there, the tedious finishes.

But I did keep the mirror, perhaps because
like all mirrors, most of these years it has been
invisible, part of the wall, or defined
by reflection – safe – because reflection,

after all, does change, I hung it here
in the front, dark hallway of this house you will
never see, so that it might magnify
the meager light, become a lesser, backward

window. No one pauses long before it.
This morning, though, as I put on my coat,
straightened my hair, I saw outside my face
its frame you made for me, admiring for the first

time the way the cherry you cut and planed
yourself had darkened, just as you said it would.

I’ve been meaning to put something of hers up for a while. I just love Claudia Emerson! She’s got a really nice, elegant simplicity to her writing.

I was thinking the other day about how I haven’t heard from a few of the military boys in a while, and I was worried. For some reason C. Emerson popped in my head. Actually, her poem A Bird in the House popped in my head, but it’s far to morbid to think about in conjunction to Ahren and B’s 1 & 2. I’d been chatting with B2 about the trip before I left and right after I got here and, while I know it’s silly, I can’t help but worry about him when I haven’t heard from him in three days after talking rather frequently. It’s silly, I know it, but he is in Afghanistan and I just don’t like it! It makes me nervous, even if he is rather happy about it. I’ll be quite upset when B1 gets deployed, too, I suppose, and worry about him as well.

This is why Jason says I worry too much. Though I suppose it is sort of a characteristic of the women in my family, to mull over things that unsettle us, or to worry over the people we care about. Even now, writing this, I’m thinking, “Oh, I wonder how Jason’s doing?” because the last time I saw him I had a splitting headache and, “I miss Ethan, I didn’t get to see Ethan,” and such. I suppose there are a half-dozen or so of the boys – hardly boys now – that I worry over pretty regularly.

I haven’t figured out why I’m often drawn to C. Emerson when I worry about them. Who know?

Cheers, friends! Keep me updated on your lives while I’m so far away!


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