Sunday, February 7, 2016

Beatriz's Twin Brooks of Yesteryear - My Tyvek House poem published at last after many a rejection - Feb 7 is the birthday of my daughter Sarah Lynn Deming

Image result for twin brooks condominiums willow grove pa

Image result for twin brooks condominiums willow grove pa

The Twin Brooks of Yesteryear
by Beatriz Moisset

Two small streams traverse our condominium and they give it its name, Twin Brooks. They escape notice by most visitors because they are no more than tiny rivulets that a young person, not me, could cross in a single jump. Moreover, all the landscaping has done much to hide them out of sight. Probably a good part of the water runs through underground pipes. But Nature persists as best it can and a good observer perhaps could imagine what the land looked like before all the earth moving, paving and construction that could place in recent times.

Where the two brooks meet, a small pond is present. Ducks and geese raise their families there some years. An occasional blue heron visits the pond and manages to make a meal of some little fish. Also, a muskrat hangs around the edge of the water.

I wonder what the land was like a few thousand years ago before Europeans arrived and populations grew and grew to what they are nowadays. There were Native Americans then, tribes distributed across the land. The ones living here were the Lenape (or Lenni-Lenapi). Were some of them camped in the Twin Brooks site either temporarily or generation after generation? Do I walk on their steps sometimes?

I search for information on the original residents of this land and learn that the Lenape tribe covered part of Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania, all of New Jersey and a southeastern part of New York state. The region was known to them as “Lenapehoking,” which meant land of the Lenape. These Native Americans had a matrilineal system, that is children belonged to their mother's clan, from which they gained their social status and identity. Male leadership was passed through the maternal line and eledr women could remove leaders they didn't approve of. Not exactly equal rights but far better than the condition of European women of those days.

So, I try to imagine the Twin Brooks family or families that occupied this area long before our condominium was built and long before I moved here. Perhaps they built their wigwam at the spot where the two streamlets met. Did they grow the Three Sisters –corn, beans and squash– where we have a parking lot? Are there some broken clay shards buried somewhere? Perhaps a little girl lost her doll exactly under my bedroom, the doll her grandmother lovingly made using corn husks and strings. I have no doubt they hunted deer and turkey nearby. Rarely a lost deer wanders into our property, desperately looking for better cover and finding only pavement, traffic and frightening noises.

They must have gathered berries. Still some berry shrubs grow here and there. Chestnuts must have been an important part of their winter food. It is sad to think that practically no chestnut trees are left because of a terrible blight accidentally introduced from overseas.

European colonists coveted the land when their population kept growing, so they relocated the Lenape Indians a couple of centuries ago. “Relocated” is just a wishy-washy way to say that the original residents of the land were robbed of their rights, uprooted and sent to an uncertain fate to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma. There, they had to survive as best they could, making do with limited resources and competing with other tribes already present in the area.

I wonder what we mean when we sing: “This land is my land.”

Image result for pond with ducks


Tyvek is an insulation material applied to the interior of buildings before application of the final material such as wood or stone or siding.

Take this old house by the side of the road
Walk past its leaf-filled ditch and muddy garden
Rip out its walls and doorways
Stay there, don’t move,
Walk among the heaps of plasterboard,
the piles of rubble still unswept
Let it sear you, rush like water through you
And bring you no peace.

Don’t come and fetch me.
I’ll stay here among the ruins,
Quiet, dream-filled,
Lonesome as a stairwell,
Ringing like a bell,
One of a kind,
The house where I live.

Did you mark the days when they
Hammered the outer boards
Across the falling rot of splintered wood?
Did you see how frisky they were
Those laugh-aloud fun-finding fellows
stationed so effortlessly
on tall hinged ladders,
Three of them I counted, workmen
Bouncing words from roof to roof,
Or were they manly jokes,
Nails echoing clang clang
as they went in.
Thick-soled boots snug on tall rungs.

How we couldn’t help but laugh
the day the letters appeared – TYVEK -
blue, dark as mountains,
you’d know those letters anywhere –
ponytailed Y
Take-me-along K pointing off,
Off in the distance at some lonesome star.
How we rejoiced and continue to rejoice
at the coming of the words.

Leave it to us to notice from our
One unstained window
the predicament of the motorists
and the ditch-leaping joggers passing by,

Each one waiting,
querying among themselves,
When will it be finished?
When will the Tyvek be covered up for good?

Didn’t we fool them?
Didn’t we cause consternation?
We simply couldn’t do it.

We let the Tyvek stay.


Millard  "Mike" Grove Deming, died in 2009


Ruth Zali Greenwold Deming

announce the birth of their daughter Sarah Lynn Deming.

Feb. 7, 1974

Image result for ethan iverson


A voice whispered to Mom.
A tiny child will be born
unto you.
You will incubate her while
listening in your small
Texas dwelling to
Miles running the
voodoo down, Ludwig
revving up his Ode to
Joy, while the B&W films of
Kurosawa made Mama
dream of venturing
far from home.

The baby rocked, she
rolled inside, she loved
her dad's Chicken Mole,
Mom's blond brownies,
"chews," a recipe from
Grandma Margie.

Mom swam in the pool
out back under the vast
Texan sky, more sky
than earth, proud of
her burgeoning belly
that she loved unceasingly
surprising herself.

She never wanted kids.

Dr Johnson ordered her
to hospital. Dad drove in
their lime-green Datsun,
there to wait, not long,
before the fruit burst
from her womb.

The baby's eyes followed
Mom's finger, the most
beautiful peach she
had ever seen.
Sweet as honey.

Hello, Sarah, said Dad.
They named her Sarah
with Lynn in the middle
necessary for calling
when in the other room.

The smiling little peach
grew and grew
a daughter most perfect
finding Ethan the perfect
man, the fruit that girded
their loins continues to
unfold: jazz, boxing,
novels, mentoring boxers
at the gym, and Sarah's
own brand of kindness
and delicacy, sweeter than
the Girl Scout Cookies she
sold door to door.

All hail Sarah Lynn.
See the cardinals, the bluejays
and wrens in my front yard?
Their melodious cries shout
Happy Birthday, Sarah Lynn,
blessed among women.

Happy Birthday, Sarah Lynn.

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