Yesterday I spent the morning at the library.
What is it with the library and time? You walk in, sit down, and five minutes later three hours have passed.
Still it was a five minutes/three hours well spent. I ended up with one revision and two unexpected drafts — one about the experience of the corporeal self as a child, when we are so unaware of our bodies (well, I was); and one for the series of poems I’m working on around the theme of women’s friendships. Someday, I hope to get back to writing more about the drafting process like I used to do fairly often. For now, a couple snippets:
from “Body My House”:
You claim nothing. There is no yours. There is only
the window where the oaks swarm, heavy
in summer wind. Where the long
meadow grasses stammer and twist.
and from “M. Meets My Boy at the Bus Stop as I Drive Through an Afternoon Blizzard”:
The car swoons on the woolen
pavement. The sky denies
having any past at all,
whole summers erased.
(P.S. “Body my house” is the first phrase of the poem “Question” by May Swenson; read it here).
Yesterday, I also had a chance to read through what I’ve been working on the last few years. I think I’ve come to a resting spot, having finally been able to explore the experience of illness, and of motherhood and family life amidst illness, in ways that I’m mostly satisfied with. I think I’ve struck a deal withe the Mail Order Bride: I’ve agreed to write what she needs to say; she agrees there is no commitment beyond the first draft. This summer, I hope to get a really good and reliable submissions strategy in place — stay tuned for that. And I’ll also continue to draft a poem a week, and see what new ground might open up as I go.
As for today, I took my morning walk. There was a mama mallard and three of her young looking very confused in the school yard. Her nest is in the shady spot behind the kindergartens, and she has five young, so two were (hopefully) still back at the nest. A concerned group of neighbors was out, trying to guide them back to the nest and reunion.
And now I have half a flat of strawberries that need attention before they turn. I think I’ll make strawberry sauce for the freezer, and use the rest for strawberry shortcake. Then back to my desk to write up thoughts on the groups of classmates’ poems I’ve been reading for class.
And, later, strawberry shortcake for dessert. Pinch me.