Sometimes poetry is hard. Don’t say “bacon” — I’ve already tried that. And while bacon is delicious, poetry is still hard.
Also sometimes people have two weeks of half-days of school. And/or an eye infection, the medication for which requires a trip to San Jose. And/or sometimes the babysitter cancels and/or the Husband works late or both. And/or it is 90 degrees and the Wee, Small House has no air. And/or other things.
Then, sometimes, the poet-mother can begin to feel down.
But then she remembers something: words.
And then she reaches for her little green notebook of words. She begins writing down words, any words: dreadful, machinery, pistol, shoebox, gate. She feels a bit perkier already.
Then she decides to write down plant/flower/tree words: firethorn, rockrose, bindweed, oak. Beebalm, bugbane, bleeding heart.
Then words that belong to metal: clang, forge, slag, mill, melt, hammer, plate, rust, coin.
Earth words: salt, sand, clay, kiln, crevasse, fault line, dune, shore.
Landscape word (well, sometimes she can only think of one): aeolian.
Motion words: gallop, shoal, bend, curl, orbit, leap, buck, sluice, skim.
Words to love for their sound: paperweight, taxidermist, cinnamon, labyrinthine, lemon, redolent, root.
She could go on.
Then she remembers love. Love of words. The joy of them. That they are everywhere and belong to no one. That you can put one next to another and surprise yourself. That you can say them out loud. That you can make things of them. Just words. (!!!!!!).
She does not go on to write the Great American Poem or even Any Poem. But she feels better. The best she can say is that it’s like finger-painting, which everyone should do once in a while. Amen.