Monday, February 02, 2009

Pancake Day

It's Candlemas, St. Bigid's Day, Imbolc, Groundhog Day. A day to eat
pancakes, see your shadow, light candles, take down your Christmas

I made crepes:

1/4 c milk, i egg, 1/4 c flour for each crepe, more or less, whisk up.
I used whole wheat flour and some seeds and rice milk for mine--yum.

I wrote a poem about it, brand new today, for my class tonight.

How Geraldine becomes a Saint, Feb 2, 1961

One by one, with needles pricking and dropping
with lisping sounds like falling rain through
the drooping branches, Geraldine picks lengths of tinsel
from the browning tree. She turns the dull and shining
strands in the colored lights to see them sparkle,
watches small streams of color wash and wriggle
across the ceiling like eels in Uncle Jake's creel.
She blows at the tinsel, puffs gently on the filaments
draped over her fingers, watches the light ones rise
and flutter while the heavy ones barely move.
New sun filters though the lace curtains, adding
another layer of pattern to the patches of color
and the ghosts of branches on the walls and ceiling.
Mama calls her to come out and see her shadow.
"The woodchucks," she says, "the groundhogs,
are sleeping in the woods, under the snow,
they won't be seeing any shadows, but you
can see yours instead." Geraldine waves
at her shadow and laughs when the shadow
waves back. Laughs and laughs and waves again.
Watches the blue hand move against the pink snow.
"Bye, bye winter," Mama says. "Well, anyway,
it's half gone, and that's worth celebrating."
Geraldine celebrates by leaping up and down
and shouting, laughing again as her shadow leaps
along with her, silent as the watching sparrows.
They give the sparrows yellow millet and golden
corn. "Yellow and gold for the sun," Mama says.
"Yellow for the sun," Geraldine repeats.
"Pancakes for breakfast," Mama says. In the center
of each pancake, she makes the shape of a sun
with a smile and many rays. "For St. Brigid,"
she says, "for the happy, growing sun."
Geraldine eats her suns with maple syrup
and asks for a pancake with her shadow in it.
"Here you are," Mama says, sliding the pancake
onto Geraldine's plate, "St. Geraldine, goddess
of shadows." Geraldine waves goodbye
to the pancake and to her pancake shadow,
as she forks it into her mouth, bite by bite.

Mary Stebbins Taitt
For Geraldine and the High Priestess


BerryBird said...

Happy (belated) Imbolc to you!! Nice poem, I think I am partial to Geraldine.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thank you!

After one nice day, it's cold again today, brrrr. We walked at Pier Park and it was frigid.

I like Geraldine, too, and have a whole manuscript full of poems about her that I hope some editor will like when I get them done.