On Monday, my husband and I were invited to have dinner at some friends’ house at the last minute. They had planned for company who had to cancel on the day-of, so they were trying to think of someone to invite over to share the steaks that had been marinating for days. Perhaps because we are among the few childless couples in their lives, they knew we’d be a safe bet for a last-minute dinner-date.
Driving north on 99 from West Seattle, we always pass a really cool billboard advertising the Seattle Aquarium. On Monday, I mentioned to my husband that I love going to aquariums and would really like to visit the one in Seattle this summer.
Later, during dinner, the Seattle Aquarium came up again, when our friend mentioned that their family membership there was about to expire. I told them that I had just seen that billboard and would love to go sometime.
And that is how I found myself there today with my friend and her two small children, touching starfish and sea cucumbers and the model of the octopus’s tentacle (which, I confess, put me in the mood for sushi…) I was there as a guest on their family pass, which was a very sweet gift. But not only that, when I was parking, a man gave me his unused parking credit, good for over an hour. The whole trip turned out to be free! That got me thinking about grace. But that’s for another post.
We were only there for an hour. I was in the middle of a work day, and the kids would soon be in need of naps. But what a fun hour it was, walking under the jellyfish and naming fish and watching through glass as the seals dove and backstroked.
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On my way home, I stopped in at the post office to pick up my mail. Waiting for me in my box was the brand-new collection of Anne M. Doe Overstreet’s poetry, “Delicate Machinery Suspended,” just released by TS Poetry Press. I removed it from its packaging right there in the post office, then sat in my car in the parking lot as I began to examine this beautiful book of poems. Knowing that I could easily slide my day’s agenda aside in favor of savoring Anne’s words, I disciplined myself to come home and get back to work, promising myself that my reward at the end of the day would be a glass of wine and Anne’s book, out on the back porch.
However, an off-handed comment by someone on my facebook page put me in the mood to write a poem, so here it is.
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A Visit to the Seattle Aquarium
by Christy Tennant
The towhead ran
Like a car on a bumpy road,
Wispy bangs bouncing over
Wide-eyed wonder, stopping only
To consider the anemone.
“A-me-mi,” he attempted,
Before whipping around
To search for seals being fed.
Darting through, racing ahead,
But glancing behind every few steps
To catch a glimpse of,
And secure himself in,
His mother’s eyes.
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Have you ever written poetry? I’d love to read it. Please share your poem in the comments, and if you’re so inclined, share the story behind it too!