15 February 2020

Poem-A-Day #1411: Home Along (Under the Greenwood Tree)

Under the Greenwood Tree (1929)
Since January 1st I've been secretly doing a poem-a-day again.

I figured it was a good way to mark 2020. The year I turn 39. The start of my 40th year. The times. The celebration and elegy to the 20 years of my work vanished by computer.

Same rules as always. OED word of the day. Write it that day. See what happens.

This is technically #46 of a new series. But if attached to the old Poem-A-Day and Poem-A-Day 2.0 projects it is poem #1411 overall in my OED word-a-day poems. I'm going with the legacy numbering because I see this as the third part of a thing I started 13 years ago. I won't promise a poem every day on here. But some a week for sure.

Today's word is "home-along". It means to be pointed or oriented homeward. It's first use was in a lesser Thomas Hardy novel called "Under the Greenwood Tree". It involves a woman who promises herself to two men (one is a priest!). She has to choose which to marry. Despite a happy tone, the book ends with a strange lingering question as to the main character's true motivations and feelings on her own choices. The novel was made into a movie in 1929, and again 2005.

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Home Along (Under the Greenwood Tree)

The broken buildup of vapor over grass presses against the column of a church where stories have unspooled for centuries —

Pile of fibre unbleached wool roving handled enough to remove the shit of sheep and fields —

These things combine into a diagram of a wedding day favors falling from the sky as rain as tin clippings from the edge of soda cans left on the field after a tailgate —

In the photos — 
even if there are no photos but let’s pretend there are photos —
in the photos the face of the bride happens to catch fully the camera lens to negotiate time with it as she dances wildly with her new husband —

They are spinning under the lights of the tent in the center of the town green under the largest oak tree in history —

His face is away from the camera but the suit is pressed clean is crisp his hair is tousled in the dance hands about her waist her skirt pulled up in one hand —

The crowd seems massive the depth of focus insane the music is here with us —
Her eyes are staring out of the frame lines form in the molecules siphoning interpretation balancing act the stare becomes the moment it is focused on us on the who that is behind the camera —

And a question arises there like smoke before the fire takes hold.

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