We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner


What the angel said

          For Fra Angelico

He spoke to you in blue, in the long call
of light from the top of a Tuscan hill.
Your hand answered, the quick sketch of a girl
taking shape before you knew she was you,
head uplifted, her angelful eyes
sure of what they see: being bodied true
as the stilled wings, the beatified sky.
What words might have passed have passed as air
sighed by the soul in the act of rapture.
Now there is only ochre and thin-skinned cream,
struck gold against the garden’s sudden green,
forever as present as it once seemed,
her hands crossed soft against her hidden fear
and angel’s breath still warm within your ear.


Olin Lake

Behind us, the channel half-clogged
by bullhead lilies slips back
into the smoke of yellow tamaracks
clouding the shore and we glide
on the silk of a dream so deep, herring
break the surface from eighty feet below.

I am this hand skimming the water.
I am these eyes dazzled by light.

I am you whom I loved
before the seas were parted.

I am in the creak of wood,
old harmony of oars.


The Last Station

The Last Station is a complex but entertaining study of a 48-year marriage and the way subtle and extreme changes that take place in each partner can take a terrifying toll on the relationship.


            I like to compare notes with him,
            to count the shades of blue
            on a kingfisher’s back . . .
                                                —Robert Cording

“Come see this creature before I cut it loose,”
my husband calls to me from the garage, something large
and winged thrashing on a spider’s thread
dangling down from the opened garage door—
no holy ghost but a moth, caught there by a wing
until he lifts the silk rigging down with a broom.
The flailing insect twirls like an acrobat till he lays it,
freed, in the grass. Tired, it doesn’t move. We admire
and leave it, go about the business of our days.
May it recover . . . may it not become prey
for the neighbor’s cat . . . Later,
when I remember to look again, it’s flown.
(Like your souls, I want to take up the old healing grief metaphor,
speaking to my lost father, my mother, my nephew, my grandmother . . .
Flown like your souls, to some heaven we can’t—
or can—imagine, or map . . .)
That night, having lost our chance if not the means
to identify it surely, we puzzle over the moth book, pointing:
this? Or this? Or this?—(some type of sphinx)—joined in spirit
as in body in our human need to capture and release meaning, feel
the touch of beloved skin: and keep safe all the facts and fancies
of our world, with their attendant terrors and grace, the mystery
of the present moment and the escaping future, heart to hand.


How to Train YourDragon

The first ever Academy Award for Best Picture was given in 1929 to Wings, a World War I aviation drama full of groundbreaking aerial sequences. People flocked to see the film largely because they longed to feel what it might be like to fly.