Peeking through the curtains of my mother’s house, I spy. Last night’s snowfall has been disturbed.  In the front room I hear my father ask someone to move: You are standing in front of my sunrise. 

He’s been camera ready for the Sunrise On the Living Room Wall photo-op since four a.m. When the sunrise begins, colors bounce off the steep red cliffs on the far side of the river and land on the living room wall. We never know what colors will happen. No two photos are the same.

And in the kitchen, the duck hunters are getting ready. Opening season begins right outside the door. This year my brothers have invited Wilderness Mike—the one who will teach them how to clean and prepare downed birds for an late afternoon campfire. Stuffed with sage and oranges, the duck meat loses any taste of mud, he says. But just in case, one hunter suggests packing sandwiches. Another argues back and counters with a list of Mike’s credentials, ending with: Well, Christ—he still knows how to cook mammoth.

You see, it’s moments like this that spin. I’ll find a way to peer around the corner, through that long corridor. Slip into that room. Imagine, someone in my mother’s kitchen has touched a Woolly mammoth. People have told me—I expect too much sometimes. But this time I am sure to find this Mike Guy drinking from an ivory tusk.


Photo by William O’Keefe.


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

18 responses to “spin

  1. kmerrifi

    “…drinking from an ivory tusk.” Now there’s a poem-to-be in a line!

  2. kmerrifi

    “….drinking from an ivory tusk.” Now there’s a poem-to-be in a line!

  3. wuffda

    why were you up before sunrise? did the mammoth hunter wake you?

  4. Out of Africa,
    into Montana.

    Love your father.

    • redmitten

      kass, love those lines! and glad you enjoy stories of my dad. gosh, he’d probably send me to my room without any supper if he read this …!

  5. suburbansoliloquist

    Sherry- It brings me such joy to see your family commenting here. Your readers get the real sense of your “river.” 🙂

    On my father’s grave marker is this: “Another beautiful sunset.” His Aprils through Octobers were spent at the family cabin on a lake in Maine. A remote spot, unspoiled by motorboats and well, population in general. Every evening he took pictures of the sunset falling behind the lake. Every evening he said Another beautiful sunset. Often followed by: No two are alike, you know?

    I know. When we’re up there in the summer, I am at water’s edge every evening–it’s impossible not to watch the sun’s great, luminescent decent.

    Early morning’s glow is worth an equally early rise.

  6. I have a notion that your childhood was full of such rich,strange moments. No two photographs quite the same, but each mysterious and alluring.

  7. Rose Hunter

    Thank you, I needed that! 🙂
    Chortled at, “you are standing in front of my sunrise.”
    I got a text from someone addressing me by name, saying “do you want to come over for a bit of duck?” I was in bed already, and said but er, who is this, and they said, “oh well, another time!” No idea.
    I like this photo. I don’t know what it is really. Are they mammoths?

    • redmitten

      ha! i figured out the duck! (and that would be a good line). the photo is one my dad sent recently from peering outside a bedroom window. the snow was melting faster wherever there was a stone step, which was warmer than the grass around it. but i preferred to think how easily that could be confused with the footprints of a woolly mammouth. right? yeah- everyone in my family could accuse you of standing in front of their sunrise. 🙂

  8. stuffing them with sage and oranges. wonder what that tastes like.

  9. Yes, moments that spin! Love this whole account. Love imagining the colors on the wall.

    • redmitten

      kathleen- ah thank you! i just now repositioned the blinds on my west windows…thinking i’ll sit here and capture the sunset on the tall white walls in my living room. waiting……uh….waiting….

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