Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Film

Pride and Glory

A movie about a family of Irish cops—that sounds like one you’ve seen before. But Pride and Glory contains a few unfamiliar notes, and it rings truer than most movies about corruption in the police ranks.
Poetry

Incarnation

Suppose I scooped the whole sky in my hand,
I couldn’t hold it. Yet hearing a goldfinch,
I feel, well, yes, that tiny song might clench
the whole primordial rumpus of the wind.

I wonder if she felt the fearful flame
fly into her womb? What did she hear?
Or maybe when God enters time,
he’s quiet. Is the child in the manger
meek so He, who fills all place, won’t scare
us?
              After my mother’s death, I stood in darkness,
bereft and tiny on an ocean pier,
a spent coin. Night opened its purse
and flung me up, expanding toward the stars.

From what I know, I reason in reverse.



Music

The Century recommends

This collection ranges from the merengue of Dominican superstar Reynold to the earthy Hungarian folk of Marta Sebestyen (knit with Arabic textures on “Bethlehem, Bethlehem”). The Cox Family’s dawn-in-Appalachia rendition of “Go Tell It on the Mountain” is a highlight. Other tracks sample holiday pieces from Sweden, Italy and Africa.
Poetry

The exact likeness of grief

Swinging a pitching wedge, my father lofts
Seven golf balls over my mother’s grave.
To spare the grass, he hits from the shoulder,
Picking them clean from the thin lie of dirt.

It’s fifty yards, I’m guessing, to the woods
Where all but one of seven disappear
In yardage he can manage, length to spare,
At eighty-eight, his knees beyond repair.

He limps to her grave site, his love an arc
That ends among trees. The flowers he’s picked
Follow him in my hands; he turns the club
Upside down and uses it as a cane.

“Some day you’ll know,” my father says, meaning
His knees, and then again, “Some day you’ll know,”
Meaning this trip to a grave, this choosing
Of flowers, orange ones I cannot name.

My father, the prophet, bends to the vase
Of wilted stems. My father, who’s warned me,
“You’ll see” a thousand times, lifts the fresh buds
From my hands, steadies himself on my arm.