Here’s The Widow Cupp, Pat to her friends, sitting at the fountain, a clipboard on her bent leg. In honor of her late husband, Michael Cupp, she’s doing Masterpiece in a Day. He taught school and loved to read her poetry to the kids. Pat’s distracted, honestly, by the pageantry of Art Squared: colorful kids, smiling dogs, artists everywhere. It’s early still. Musicians tune up; vendors shake out black cloth and set up their glorious, reasonably priced wares. Behind Pat stands the pleasingly alliterative Smokehouse on Shelby, a closed bar fixin’ to transform into a meeting place of vibrancy and panache—and fresh local beer. She glances up as a cute pit bull sniffs her knee, and there’s her friend Krazy Glue, a fellow poet with a glass eye and a purple long sleeve tie-dye shirt, a bike helmet in her hand. Well, she always has the glass eye, ever since the logging accident, but today’s shirt is definitely purple. Krazy’s looking a little agitated, starting to tap her glass eye, as she is wont to do, says she has only an hour to finish her poem. “Did you ride all the way here?” asks Pat, at which her poet pal breaks into verse, rhymed iambic tetrameter to be specific.
To My Schwinn Ten-Speed
If we had world enough and time,
a longer bike ride were no crime.
I’d ride from 38th and Penn
and come to Fountain Square again.
I’d whizz along the Cultural Trail
and join you in a glass of ale.
But at my back I always hear
my son’s art therapy session hurrying near.
So I have parked my car downtown
and set my worldly burdens down
awhile. Not long.
Here her Andrew Marvell imitation petered out, like the Cultural Trail at 10th Street. “Marvellous A!” she shouts, and bows. Pat does the slow clap. They sit down together on the curved concrete wall, watching two kids splash in the fountain. It’s what they’d do together with more time. Fewer inhibitions. Pat’s about to open her widowed, carpe diem mouth and suggest they take a dip when Krazy rolls her good eye at her watch and they commence writing.