Tuesday, September 16, 2008

to all my friends' baby photo slideshows

After reading my last entry, I realize that I've been little better in my current writing than those visitors of my father's who I found cause to criticize. These last few entries have been of a more somber nature, perhaps fittingly so, given the circumstances. Nonetheless, just as I've been encouraging my father's visitors to be more upbeat and mirthful, so will I.

On that note, I wrote a poem a couple of days ago, after getting Jon and Kim's slideshow of their child Frances at 11 months. That was the title of the slideshow, 11 months, and the first thing I thought upon receiving it was "Why not wait until Frances one-year birthday to send a slideshow?" Then I caught myself, realizing that without a child-- without even a wife yet to have a child with-- I simply cannot comprehend a couple's tendency to e-mail photo slideshows of their children whenever the desire to do so overcomes them. I've noticed this not only of Jon and Kim with Frances, but of literally every married couple I know that have recently become parents. I suppose I will not until I, too, am in their shoes.

The following poem is a frivolous attempt at understanding the desire, as well as an overt poking-fun at it. As you'll read, my thoughts regarding my father-- and how my mother poked fun at him by framing the picture of his new truck-- obviously found their way into it.

To All My Friends’ Baby Photo Slideshows

Here is a picture of my truck
just off the lot, only a couple hours old.

Here’s one of the odometer—look
at all those zeros!
                                      She’s my first
brand-new, having never known
the joy before, having always
bought used.
                             Here she is
on the road in front of the house
the day I brought her home.

This is her in the driveway,
just after a waxing. Can you see
my reflection in her door?
                                                       I swear
her paint job sheds dirt naturally,
hardly even needs a washing.

Here’s my brother
behind her wheel,

and this is my sister,
doing a Vanna White.

Here’s all of us together,
taken by my neighbor,

and this is my neighbor and I,
arm-wrestling on her hood.

Here I am, filling her up
for the first time down
at the Get-Go — $3.79 a gallon
is just insane!

                              The way she guzzles it, too,
costs an arm and a leg, and I know
it ain’t getting any cheaper
as she gets older.
                                     Here she is
in front of the house again,
but later in the day

when her cherry-red is
more a deep-maroon.
                                               Here’s another of her
odometer: 1,000 miles
on the dot.
                         When she started getting close
I started keeping my camera in her glovebox.
(I had to pull over onto the shoulder
to take the picture the day she turned.)

Can you believe how quickly the mileage goes?
Before I know it, I’ll be taking her in
for her first tune-up.
                                            We leave Friday
on our first trip to the lakehouse—look
at the glint in her grillwork there—doesn’t it
look like she’s smiling?
                                                 Like she already knows?
It’s only for the weekend, but the camera’s
still in the glovebox.
                                             I’ll e-mail you another
slideshow, first thing Monday morning.

1 comment:

Huisclos said...

One of the amazing things about parenthood is that you accept your new found dorkiness without question.

Once the kid takes a poo in public or barfs all over you while you are trying to look all cool and hip, you are well on your way to monthly slide shows.