Sundays With Ingrid
They sat down to dinner: spring rolls, dun dun noodles, orange chicken, Szechuan shrimp with onions. Nigel woke up. Ingrid got out the chopsticks—Chinese food always tasted better with chopsticks.
“Where’s Dad?” Ty said.
“Working late,” said Mom. “Anything interesting happen today?”
“Ingrid?” Mom said.
Ingrid, chopsticking up a slippery shrimp no problem, like she hailed from Haiphong, said, “Not that I can think of.”
“What’s happening in English?”
“We’re reading poems.”
English was Ingrid’s favorite subject, by far, but today’s class seemed long ago. She realized she was tired too, the whole family tired at once. “There was one about daffodils.”
Mom’s eyes brightened. “‘I wandered lonely as a cloud,’” she said, “‘That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils.’”
“Hey,” Ingrid said.
Ty paused in midchew. “How do you know that?” he said; midchew of an orange chicken ball, Ingrid saw.
“I just do.”
“But how?” Ingrid said.
Mom looked a little embarrassed. “Don’t laugh,” she said. “But as a kid, I wanted to be a poet. My poetry was terrible, so I decided to memorize great poems in the hope it would rub off.”
“Like how many?” Ty said.
“How many poems?” said Mom. “Oh, I don’t know, lots. I got good at it—I guess that was my talent, memorizing poetry.”
“Say some more,” Ingrid said.
Mom thought. Then she said:
“That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle around him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honeydew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.”
“What the hell’s all that about?” said Ty.
“Something scary,” said Ingrid. “What is it about, Mom?”
Mom didn’t answer the question. Instead, she smiled a wise sort of smile, and in a quieter voice, recited:
“I say that we are wound
With mercy round and round
As if with air.”
“Hey,” Ingrid said.
Mom didn’t look so tired anymore.
Tags: Echo Falls Series
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