We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner


On music

Back before pop diva Lisa Loeb became a household name, she and Elizabeth Mitchell performed together at Brown University. While Mitchell didn’t achieve Loeb’s fame, she possesses no less talent—and on her album for children, You Are My Little Bird (Smithsonian Folk ways), she demonstrates how the simplest music-making can be the most moving.

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?



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.

Sweet psalm

Good lost word, succor.
As an infant mouth pulls
sweet need from the breast.
Sucker: that child,
or a loser. Or a gull—
someone fooled. Gull’s
a sea grace too, a diving
shelter wing. Sucker:
sweet on a stick. Sticky.

Dive and warm me, sweet
Grace. Feed me, help me.
Don’t fool me, don’t lose me.
Be my succor. Stick to me.