We are sitting at the edge of Michigan’s own slice of the Caribbean—Torch Lake. The water is teal, sometimes turquoise. A handful of children are making little crayfish corrals of sand, circled and fortified by rocks, catching the creatures first with a net and pail. As for us, we’re fortified with turkey sandwiches and bottles of water and we’ve gathered ourselves on lawn chairs on the grass. My husband is reading John Grisham’s King of Torts and wonders aloud if the water is as cold here as it was in Lake Michigan the other day. I say it’s probably warmer, but not likely as warm as the Atlantic Ocean back home in Florida. I sprawl out in the sun and recite Romeo and Juliet to myself—completing Tweetspeak’s latest dare to commit poems to memory.
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
I’m thinking about the scene that lay in Thailand where a soccer team of twelve boys—the Wild Boars—and their coach have been stranded for two weeks by monsoon flooding. I’m also thinking about masks and an image my grand girl posted on Instagram–that train of thought brought on by Juliet’s rant.
O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
Beautiful tyrant! Fiend angelical!
Dove-feather’d raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!
There’s this thing about committing poetry. My neurons fire up connections that may not seem to have anything to do with a poem I’ve memorized. Maybe it’s just a single word or a fern frond, and I go off the beaten path. The memorized lines keep me busy on mundane walks or on a long car ride, when I lie awake in bed or simmer in the sun. Today my brain’s sizzling over the divisions of two households, alike in dignity, and the crises that can pull people together if only for a brief season as well as the masks we sometimes hide behind.
Follow me over to Tweetspeak Poetry for the whole story–and two more videos of poetry recitation. 🙂