The Wizard, the Wild, and the Iridescent

Many birds in the air on Mayfair and so much high emotion and teen spirit and teen sorrow I have been, we have all been, sweetly rained and emotionally slumped in recent days.

O tempora, o mores ... Oil spills, vinter vedder, eddie weather, nudists in Fruita... Wutt next ...

And so it was the old man shoulders in to the girl-child's room where she isn't letting anyone in for all in her life that's going on and she is weeping through the walls and I have handled it all right and all wrong and we have all run out of words and he shoulders in and tells her that he's got a shoulder, that he's got a shoulder and it's his to give.

And so it was the little brother, always the listener of many things, he comes to me and says to me how does he do that, mawm ...she was just crying her eyes out half an hour ago and now she's giggling... how does he do that ...

and what could I say but he's a magician, and so are you, child.

in hoc signo vinces ...


The Writer

In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.

Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.

But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which

The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.

I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash

And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark

And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,

And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,

It lifted off from a chair-back,
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.

It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.

Richard Wilbur