It’s popsicle week, Billy of Wit & Vinegar‘s annual internet pop party. Here is my bright and juicy contribution. I’m keeping it as simple as that for today: it’s hot, make all the popsicles.
This weekend, the Frenchman and I drove to my parents’ house for Father’s Day: I baked, and cooked and cooked and baked. On Friday, we fly to France for nearly two weeks with the Frenchman’s family.
I’m stressed and tired and harried, which is, in itself, uninteresting, and also not appropriate fodder for an internet blog post about flip-in-the-lake refreshing popsicles, so instead I present you with one of my favorite poems, written by my favorite poet. I’ve read it so many times it’s essentially memorized. I hope it brings you too pleasure on this June Monday.
Of Your Fathers Indiscretions and the Train to California
One summer he stole the jade buttons
Sewn like peas down Aunt Ora’s dress
And you, who loved that trail of noise and darkness
Hauling itself across the horizon,
Moths spiraling in the big lamps,
Loved the oily couplings and the women’s round hats
Haunting all the windows
And the way he held you on his knee like a ventriloquist
Discussing the lush push of grass against the tree’s roots
Or a certain crookedness in the trunk.
Now everything is clearer.
Now when the train pulls away from the station
And the landscape begins to come around, distant and yet familiar,
That odd crease of yellow light
Or the woods’ vague sweep framed in the window forever
Remind you of the year you were locked up at the Hotel Fiesta
While father went out with fast black minks.
And how wonderful it was
When he was narrow as a hat pin in this tux
And to have come all that way on his good looks.
How wonderful to have discovered lust
And know that one day you would be on its agenda
Like the woman who drank and walked naked through the house
In her black hat, the one you used to watch
Through a stammer in the drapes.
In that small town of cold hotels, you were the girl in the dress,
Red as a house burning down.
If you want a boozier popsicle, decrease the strawberries to 1 pound, and increase the gin, Campari, Vermouth, and orange flower water by 1 tablespoon each.
- 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) strawberries, hulled
- 6 tablespoons (60 grams) turbinado sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) gin
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Campari
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sweet red Vermouth
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) orange flower water