We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner



The sweet and thrilling Pixar animated feature Up is a paean to the possibilities that remain in a life shadowed by loss and disappointment. It’s about resurrecting buried dreams and using the judgment acquired over a lifetime to modify those dreams.

The pastor’s wife considers drought

Faux thunder haunts my incoherent garden.
My chervil withers. The lettuce bolts.
Only rosemary’s roots remember rain.

Out by the road I find a young possum—
swollen—the fire ants celebrating, while
under the live oak resurrection ferns tarry.

Must I weigh the excellence of weeds—
how they thrive in their congregation—
thistle, wire grass, groundsel, nettle?



Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
Psalm 81:10 (KJV)

Don’t be afraid of your hunger.
I gave it for your fullness,
The cravings, the pinched gullet,
the corrosive wants, all
have come to serve you.
Don’t be afraid of the pablum,
the drivel in your diet, or the sharp
cactus burrs when you swallow.
Don’t be afraid even if you don’t
know you are hungry.


For they shall inherit the earth

The child who labored under the AK-47,
who bore its weight like a claw on his naked shoulder

and memorized the equation of trigger + blood = food,
cried out to Ludana and escaped to the darkening savannah.

He awoke on a carpet of acacia shadows. Above him,
the coral dawn shook out its feathers

and raptors began to ripple through the sky.
He spilled his heart out like water to the Lord.

And ants came to him, came by the thousands,
encircling his neck like a chain of glittering onyx.


Summer hours

A well-established French cinematic tradition is to spin out a story that seems to be about very little—until you get a peek beneath the surface and can see it is about a dizzying number of things. Then the themes and symbols rain down, forcing you to watch and listen carefully lest you miss one of the clues that helps explain, perhaps even solve, the tale.