Miracle of Bubbles

by Barbara Goldberg

A woman drives to the video store
to rent a movie. It is Saturday night,
she is thinking of nothing in particular,
perhaps of how later she will pop popcorn
or hold hands with her husband and pretend
they are still in high school. On the way home
a plane drops from the sky, the wing shearing
her roof of her car, killing her instantly.
Here is a death, it could happen to any of us.
Her husband will struggle the rest of his days
to give shape to an event that does not mean
to be understood. Since memory cannot operate
without plot, he chooses the romantic — how young
she was, her lovely waist, or the ironic — if only
she had lost her keys, stopped for pizza.

At the precise moment the plane spiraled
out of control, he was lathering shampoo
into his daughter's hair, blond and fine
as cornsilk, in love with his life, his
daughter, the earth (for "cornsilk" is how
he thought of her hair), in love with the miracle
of bubbles, how they rise in a slow dance,
swell and shimmer in the steamy air, then
dissolve as though they never were.


  1. Sigh. That brings up so many different feelings, I don't know where to begin.

  2. Dear Distracted,
    Beautiful... I suppose in your profession you are well in tune with the fact that life, like a bubble, can pop and disappear any time, for any of us. There was a story not all that long ago about a fighter jet that fell on a house in San Diego, killing people in the house.

    A happy Sunday afternoon to you regardless !

  3. How wonderful, how sad. Life is like that sadness all mixed up with wonderfulness :-).
    Who is to know why things happen they way they happen, I like the mystery of not knowing.

  4. Bonjour, my dear Distracted friend,

    It is quite possible that the next time you go Halfway To France you will find it shuttered and the furniture covered for the season.

    If you were to leave the proprietor a note with an email address, she might then be able to invite you to a house warming at my place where it is difficult to get past the pesky security guards--they came with the place.

    Heart breaking poem:

    ..just keep the heart, my love, the damned thing's broken anyway
    I'll get my mind up off that borderline someday"

    --Rosalie Sorrels
    Borderline Heart

  5. A poignant piece - I try not to steer my thoughts in the direction of how uncertain life is, but reality intrudes. The chief value of such thought, uncomfortable as it is, is this: how much light it sheds on the moment's heartbreaking beauty. May we slow down enough to know that we are here, in whichever place, however ordinary, filled with this passing beauty.

  6. Life is fleeting this way. In just one moment, everything can change.

  7. Powerful beyond words. Thank you.

  8. Treasure every minute of our days. We are not here to stay.

  9. those strings of pearls that are 'the moments of now' seem to be on a few people's minds lately...

  10. Bubbles, The Bmup, The Tyrant, The Unicorn and Soundings...could not comment at each one but oh, the depth, irony, beauty and fun you have blessed us with...Thank you :)


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