all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Thursday, October 04, 2007

still life with ice cream

The day has turned out gorgeously,
I know that much at least and in fact,
I know enough to get an ice cream cone
on the corner of Dolores and 18th.
Mint chip and cookies & cream go perfectly
with an afternoon like this, what
with the kids just coming out of school,
the whole city in shorts and flip flops -
and even though there is a strong likelihood
tomorrow will be absent of magnificent weather,
a strong likelihood that tomorrow will, in fact,
will bring a sheet of fog - heavy, wet, opaque -
slow as narcolepsy, and the city will take
a turn inward, there will be scarves and fancy hats,
there will be a buttoning up and a hunkering down,
and the impulse for ice cream will be replaced
by slippers and hot cider. It could be that kind of day,
a day in which I will not sit leisurely at a picnic table
in the park looking at the picture-perfect toddlers
on the swing set, their well-coifed parents. It might
not be a day during which I make several comments to friends
and other loved ones that this is the reason one lives
in San Francisco, the surprise, the reward of ice cream in autumn,
the cone barely containing its cargo, it's that warm, so warm
the ice cream begins to melt faster than I can eat it,
and isn't that like life? Such a beautiful day, such
gorgeous ice cream, these Scharffenberger chocolate chips,
this fresh cream, this 4 o'clock sunlight, the easy wind
flapping through the park, the swing set, the picturesque toddlers,
even the teenagers, loud with cell phones and catcalls
to each other, even them, and the kite fliers down on the flats,
and their kites, graceful on a band of air, like life, all of it,
ice cream dribbling southward at a rate I will not be able to
take it all in, the ice cream I will have to let go, give up,
come to peace with, all those bits and pieces that will escape me,
the likelihood of grey skies tomorrow, who knows, but still,
letting this all go, taking it in and then letting it go.

4 comments:

GailNHB said...

You are a magician, Maya. The endings are always perfectly crafted and worded. I love this. I love the loss of the ice cream but the beauty of its melting. I love that all of life is about licking, dripping, watching, listening, catcalling, flying kites, enjoying every moment of it, and letting it all go. All at the same time. All with grace and peace and gratitude. Wonderful... Again, I may need to imitate you at some point in the future. First of all, I will go get some ice cream!

Amy said...

Bravo! You always get it JUST right ...

Wenda said...

Oh Maya, I've been away from your words for far too long. I am feasting here today. Thanks for y our gifts.

I AM said...

"a sheet of fog - heavy, wet, opaque - slow as narcolepsy"

Oh wow, what a perfect visual! I am new to your blog and so happy to have found my way here. You have a powerful voice.