Spr/Sum 04



Wednesday is named after Odin (Wotan) the chief of the Norse gods. Odin was in tough shape. He had an extremely difficult and painful education. He had one eye. He was anorexic and had a drinking problem. He had an eight-legged horse, a couple of wolves and two ravens, Thought and Memory, that flew all over the world but, presumably, returned to him on occasion.

The French word for Wednesday is mercredi, after the Roman god Mercury, a naked guy with wings on his heels, who went around delivering messages and flowers. He moved very quickly.

It is a windy, winter Wednesday as I write. Today is washday, there’s a pot of beans boiling on the kitchen stove, steam condensing on the cold windowpanes. And today is the birthday of George Washington, the father of our country. “Wednesday’s child is full of woe.” So the nursery rhyme goes, but George Washington did all right, despite a couple of hard winters. Still, he was no barrel of laughs, either.

Wednesday is known as “hump day,” halfway through the workweek, a hill from which you can view the road you are traveling, to where it vanishes in the haze at either horizon. On one side of the road trees in shadow, on the other trees in sun, and sometimes between the tall trunks, a glimpse of clear blue sky.


Louis Jenkins lives in Duluth, Minnesota. His poems have been published in a number of literary magazines and anthologies, including Kenyon Review, Paris Review and American Poetry Review. His books of poetry include An Almost Human Gesture (Eighties Press and Ally Press, 1987), All Tangled Up With the Living (Nineties Press, 1991), Nice Fish: New and Selected Prose Poems (Holy Cow! Press, 1995, Just Above Water (Holy Cow! Press, 1997) and The Winter Road (Holy Cow! Press, 2000. Two of his prose poems were published in The Best American Poetry 1999 (Scribner, 1999)

A new book of his prose poems, Sea Smoke, will be published by Holy Cow! Press in fall 2004.