Long time readers will know I have a special place in my heart for poems and have been inclined to share a stand-out with you now and then. I couldn’t resist gifting you this one.

A secret indulgence of mine has been to tune into the charming, and inspiring, “bent-lily” blog for a poetic perk in my day. Samantha Reynolds is a Vancouver-based entrepreneur and a mother who, desiring to be mindful of the moments in her baby son’s first year, decided to write a poem a day capturing the essence of even the tiniest events. (Some of us just aimed to take a shower!) Samantha has compiled a wonderful archive of poetry, along with other creative thoughts and opportunities, at bentlily.com. My secret is no-more, I encourage you to visit!

And so, I share this little gem with you in honour of Mother’s Day. As a mum of boys, I remember all too well, moments like these. My boys are now long past the toddler stage and it’s my actions causing the embarrassment (they tell me) so I loved this little trip back in time. I marvel at how simply Samantha creates the scene.

We sneak into the elevator before it closes
us with our cart full of groceries
her with just one cloth bag

I blurt out would you mind
if my son presses the button
but her face doesn’t move
so that I wonder if she is deaf
or sad or just as austere as she looks
her hair grey as stone
her potato-coloured raincoat
her sensible shoes
which is when my son
turns to me and asks

does that lady have a bagina

which had been a topic over breakfast
who does and doesn’t
the mention of certain people
making us both giggle

but in the confines of the elevator
and the brittle twitch of her old cheek
his question turns my brain to mud
and I am trapped in the boiling
heat of awkwardness

then the doors open
and with a voice as light as a moth
and a look that absolves me
she says

would you believe
I left it at home.

(Bagina, by Samantha Reynolds, April 27, 2013)

Happy Mother’s Day

Gatsby

May 10, 2013

Today is the release of the latest cinematic version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Are you Gatsby-ed out already?  Are you thinking of re-reading the book? Or going to read it for the first time perhaps? It’s not a long endeavour (fewer than 200 pages) so I’m considering a refresher. The movie appears to be an extravaganza – influencing trends in fashion and design for almost a year now and promising to launch what marketers claim we’ll remember as the “Summer of Gatsby”.

A few Fitzgerald/Gatsby inspired books are appearing on the shelves too – the biggest among them probably Z – a novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. So maybe I’ll set aside Gatsby and take on Zelda instead. It’s a fictionalized memoir, focusing on Zelda’s search for self during the roaring 20’s.  I read an article today recounting how she and F. Scott hunched on all fours on a stranger’s doorstep in New York City, barking to be let into the party. When the door was finally opened to them, Zelda marched in and up the stairs to have a bath. Hmmm … if that’s any indication, this could be a rather lively read. Click on the cover for a summary if you’re intrigued.

And if you’ve done all of your reading already and are thinking of heading to the movies, here’s a trailer of what’s in store:

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