Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Matron, The Mood, The Upswing

The Matron was EXTREMELY annoyed this morning when the city of St. Paul set to work on new sidewalks up and down her block at 6:45 am!

Jackhammer play list, coming right up before coffee. Two agoniziing hours in, a staff person from St. Paul Public Art knocked on the door. He informed the Matron that the city wanted to inscribe a poem or two in the new cement on her block, and that he had been chatting with neighbors about who lived in her house and what sort of poem might fit. What sensibility would work for this house on Mound Street.

Here was his suggestion:

"She was the steward of the smallest things: a pair of dead bees in the windowsill.
Santa ring, cluster of elm seeds in their felted cells."

And this woman, who has been the steward of the smallest things for 18 years and 24 hours -- these babies, those children with their twigs and seeds, bugs, petals and trinkets, these teenagers, and this great big adult man standing before her ready to leave -- had to choke back tears before she could say: "Well, I think that would work just fine."

The poem is in. The cement is drying. Neighbors know her well. And yours truly, the same woman who was EXTREMELY annoyed at 6:45? Around 10:00 am, she brought out leftover birthday cake and cool drinks for all the workers.