Episode 37: Father’s Day?
On this week’s episode, we discuss two poems by two authors: “elegy” by Jessica Hudgins and “Daddy Box II” by Rebecca Baggett. Jessica Hudgins is a poet and teacher who has just moved to Ednor Gardens from Charles Village, is working with her roommate on their backyard, and thinking about adopting a dog… Present at the Editorial Table: Kathleen Volk Miller Sharee DeVose Marion Wrenn Engineering Producer: Joe Zang On this week’s episode, we discuss two poems by two authors: “elegy” by Jessica Hudgins and “Daddy Box II” by Rebecca Baggett. Jessica Hudgins (photo taken from Tinder profile) Jessica Hudgins is a poet and teacher who has just moved to Ednor Gardens from Charles Village, is working with her roommate on their backyard, and thinking about adopting a dog. First, we discuss Jessica Hudgins’ “elegy,” an accurate grasp on the complexities of family relationships in which the speaker conjures childhood memories of her father and aunt. The poem depicts moments reflected on in gratitude, and recognizes the love and care in the lessons they taught her throughout her life. Despite how those lessons were initially received as a child, it is clear to us that the speaker expresses appreciation for both figures who helped mold her in very different ways. Hudgins offers a thoughtful comparison between the specific, mundane moments in life and the philosophical questions surrounding a child’s experiences, as well as what they all come to mean later on. Rebecca Baggett Rebecca Baggett attributes her life-long loathing of “real” shoes to her childhood at the beach and spends a great deal of time searching for flipflops with good arch support. She lives now in Athens, GA, where she can often find decent watermelons, though none of them are as good as the ones her daddy grew. She still loves to swim under the stars. In “Daddy Box II” by Rebecca Baggett, we witness the brilliant redemption of the list-style poem! This piece is one that “incantates” with imagery and teaches you how to read it along the way. Going from a list to a narrative, it captured us with a broad portrayal of fatherhood and family life then left us to reflect on one lovely, very specific image of a cherished moment in a childhood. With just us three Wonder Women at the table for this episode, we close out by talking a bit about the superhero film that recently made box office history! Share your thoughts about daddies, Wonder Woman, and this episode on Facebook and Twitter with #WonderWomen! Read on! Jessica Hudgins elegy when my mom and dad were doing the young-married-person thing my aunt was always single so she babysat she gave me cheerios and I ate while she had her breakfast cigarette and afterward we took walks and I pointed out all the volunteers which is what my dad told me you call a plant you haven’t planted that by its own reseeding appears where it is not needed and I told her to wash her hair with cold water another thing she knew I had learned from my dad she asked me what’s so great about your dad you only learn from him and since then I’ve been thinking it’s not about greatness as much as it’s about what sticks like, jessie I heard on the radio that sucking it in isn’t healthy you have to fill your belly to breathe well and other things that are beside the point which is that my aunt is not old but she’s not well she didn’t teach me any words about plants or about how the body should be treated but she questioned me as anyone should be questioned who is like the soil and takes every small thing that’s offered Rebecca Baggett Daddy Box II The locked box contains a pack of L&M cigarettes, a gray steel lighter, a frayed deck of cards, a brown beer bottle with a peeling label. Twist of black pepper, bottle of BBQ sauce, cup of dark coffee, handful of watermelon seed. A faded green cap, a black metal lunchbox, a scattering of wrenches and screws. Pork rinds in an unopened cellophane bag, the key to an old truck, the truck itself, mud-flecked on the fenders, the tailgate dropped, loaded with lumber for the playhouse he’ll frame in a weekend with his brother Bill for help, Uncle Bill, with his crooked grin, his thin frame leaning into the wood, the skeleton playhouse that will stand unfinished for months, then gradually fill with lumber ends, old tires, half-used cans of paint, the truck in which he will bring home the two piglets you name Wonder Woman and Super Girl, piglets that grow into sows fenced at the back of the lot across the alley, sows you watch while Daddy tosses buckets of scraps across the fence, the fence where you perch on a hot August afternoon, eating watermelons split against the truck fender, sweet, sticky rivers of juice pouring down your arms and chin, and you eat every bite, down to the pink against the rind, then pitch the rinds to the snorting pigs, who crunch and mutter as they feast. The whole of that summer is in the box, including the night you all swam in the little above ground pool in the backyard, you, your sisters, your father and mother, the night he let you pile one after the other on his back, then rose and fell across the surface like a dolphin diving over the ocean’s curve, while your mother laughed in the darkness and you could see only the outlines of their faces, but you knew everyone was smiling. There is that night, far at the bottom of the box, the night you could imagine what a happy family was like.view more
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