Poem for Bonnie
I am walking around in my temporary neighborhood-- all my neighborhoods so far are temporary-- and thinking the names of flowers as I walk. Tulip. Pear tree, maybe? Daffodil. Jonquil. Both a type of narcissus. Thinking, What's that flowering bush again? Hydrangea or azalea? I once asked my brother to remind me which it was in my mother's yard, and he said, Azalea. Or actually, Oprah just bought them all and renamed them Ozalea. So those must be Ozaleas . . . If I have done nothing else of value, I have had a little brother who says things like this and who I somehow helped make like this because I appreciate that he says things like this. But then I think, Oh, and I made a new human, too, now. He is riding along at the end of my arms, squinting at me until he falls asleep. I could say, Right, baby? Azaleas, huh, Bubba? Or hydrangeas. Right? I'd better get it straight before he's old enough to know that I don't know all my flowers. Or maybe he'll appreciate that I'm the way I am. And I'll appreciate that he's the way he is. And in this way we will each of us become more who we are. We will become our funny, endearing selves and keep on becoming them, which is, at its best, what it means to be part of a family. Which is a buoy and also a type of courage. I am thinking, Hydrangea hydrangea Hypatia. All I know about Hypatia is that she was a Greek philosopher and mathematician renowned for her beauty and learning. That's all I know about that. Or, wait-- wasn't she torn apart by a mob? Why would they do it? Poor Hypatia. I present you with these azaleas.