Wednesday, February 04, 2015

In my red coat, near the Hotel Byrne

 As an example of interesting distractions and the way odd things turn up, here I am in my red coat, circa 1956. This afternoon I picked up a laptop from the repair shop late. The nice fellow at Laptop Repair Boise restored my data, which included an extra set of the last group of my mother's slides that I had scanned last year by Scancafe. So, while I was giving the laptop those little tweaks, like bookmarks, that make it handy for oneself, I found that I was looking at some of these slides, and then some more! This was the last batch of scanning and contained some real oddities, and bits of this and that, like photos of Carol Channing on TV. I don't remember noticing this particular slide before. This is clearly my coat, which I made to take to college most likely in either the summer of 1953 or 1954. I am sure it is my coat because the fabric was a poplin mill-end (does anyone use that term now?) and there wasn't quite enough fabric to face the collar. So I used a bit of heavy black taffeta with white polka-dots on it. The polka-dots were stiff and sort of rubbery. This undercollar is visible in the photo. I do not remember where we were, or when we went there, but I can date the photo because I only had shorter hair in 1955 and 1956, after I was married. This is grown out from the botched home permanent Mom gave me just before my wedding in 1955. After this, I always had shoulder-length hait, So, I am thinking this must be 1956.
Here is another picture! Same location, same red coat. More struggles with time travel below.
In this one, I am talking to a man I do not recognize; it could be Henry Leigh. The boy running up the stairs reminds me of my brother, Richard. I don't know when this was. I don't remember my mother coming West in the year or two after I married. I am guessing this is Arizona or Utah. The Brick building (part of the decaying infrastructure of someplace that tried and couldn't make it) says HOTEL BYRNE in the arch at the top. S. doesn't remember anything either. Do you know this place??

Here is a little poem by a poet that is new to me, Sheenagh Pugh:


Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people will sometimes step back from war,
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they cant leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes out best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.

Sheenagh Pugh

Beware Falling Tortoises, Poetry Wales Press, 1987, page 24.
I would like you to take a look at the punctuation in this poem, how we go 
semi-colon, semi-colon, semi-colon, all through the poem, until the colon before the kicker:
"may it happen for you." 

Now, the task is to write a poem in three stanzas, with example, and end with a wish.
Send it to me!

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