for Thyra and M. M.
The night Marlee Matlin came to dinner
at our house, my daughter’s face became a
glowing orb. Matlin felt her pull and was
drawn into an exquisite expression of thought
flowing from fingers faster than I could read.
Third wheel, I served curried potato soup
and refreshed tall glasses of Arnold Palmers
to tinkling ice singing for my ears, a private
symphony echoing the clinking of silver
on ceramic plates. Dessert followed, hot cherry
pie topped with old fashioned vanilla ice cream.
Plated pie entered to noses exploring air.
Eyes exchanged rapture. Fingers kissed from
lips spread yum. Pie disappeared and my daughter
laughed as Matlin reached across the table to
dab a cherry red drip from her chin.
In this picture you can see how excited Marlee was to meet Thyra. ;-)
Shout out to Big Tent Poetry for the prompt.
“This week, start with a list of pop culture icons that interest you. Imagine one of them in a mundane setting: Marilyn Monroe doing the dishes, Elvis mowing the lawn, Lady Gaga carpooling the kids to soccer practice. Poem an icon into a situation they may never, in real life, appear.”
While Marlee Matlin is not exactly a pop culture icon in the hearing world, she is a pop icon in the Deaf world in the United States. Matlin is an academy award winning actress and a role model for many deaf and hard of hearing girls across America. My daughter looks to Matlin as a role model.
To keep my conscience clean, the movie Matlin won an award for is Children of a Lesser God. The treatment of Deaf people as needing to be fixed in that movie raises Thyra's hackles. Deaf people do not need to talk to live full lives, nor do they need to be fixed. They are not broken.