Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Mayday and International Labor Day:

Summer arrived in earnest the last two days, although it's cooler today. Otto and I took advantage of the hot weather to eat lunch in the outdoor patio of a favorite Italian cafe across from the Monterey Market, Berkeley's favorite fresh produce store. It's one of my favorite places for people-watching. The flirting couple and Papa doing baby-sitter duty while working on his laptop, with a latte to earn him table rights, were among my favorites this time. That luscious platter of pannini (enough for two people) was another attraction!

When I was young - for that matter, when my children were young - Mayday was the occasion for hanging anonymous posies on front doors, ringing the doorbell and running like mad. It's a custom I wouldn't mind reviving! We certainly have the flowers for it on this date.

Our wisteria, which covers a trellis that raises it above the tile roof over the dining room, entry, and garage, reached the height of its bloom earlier. I decided (a little late last week) to take pictures of it after it had leafed out and the blossoms had faded somewhat. The fragrance lingers.


From maypole, festive ribbons fluttered peach,
lavender, pink, mint green and baby blue.
In thought we girls rehearsed our steps to reach
the intricate patterns final weave, each hue
crisscrossed with every other. Our pale bare feet
curled in the cut green lawn. We were too small;
Our turn at last, the ribbons wouldn’t meet
(one high, one low), nor could our teacher’s call
prevent collisions, pull our tangles free.
Reversing, bumping, blushing, we were through.

The threads of history weave imperfectly.
May first, and on our T.V. screens we view
parades of thwarted workers whose spring-bright dreams
have tangled in a web of others’ greed.
A world away a smoky ribbon streams
from a wounded plane. Its cry of urgent need
is ours, who, stumbling, fumble to unbraid a
knotted world where we’ve enmeshed us:



nonizamboni said...

Wisteria, candid photos and another wonderful poem! And it was nice to remember May Day baskets. Such a dreamy post -- thanks!

nonizamboni said...

And I just read 'Cesar'-- your images kept bringing his face back to me. . .I remember the lettuce marches.. .young and old.
Wonderful last line.
Thanks again!

Kristin said...

straight through the heart, Phyllis!! Wow! maybe the best yet?