Oh how I hated to close the window!
The Smell of rain
Through an opened window
The sound of thunder
at the beginning
The excitement of a
late summer storm
The sky turning gray green
the raindrops falling
down, straight down
Towels around the window
soaking something splendid
summer storm, found a small way
fresh onto her face
On a Sunday morning
On the first Sunday
dreamed for week 5
Rain, the smell of rain
(Just having some fun with language.)
Can any topic be used for a poem? A narrative of a father drunk vomiting… agreeing to drive daughter to work during a winter storm–how can that be in a poem? I’m feeling the story wants to be a poem–or am I being influenced too much by Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays?”
Because I have been reading poetry and keep coming back to “what did I know” This father is not a farmer, but a father who wasn’t always drunk and sometimes tried to help his daughter get to work so she could save money for college. (When he wasn’t waiting for her paycheck to “give it home,” if he was drunk on payday—before direct deposits.)
Because no, maybe fiction would be better. The father heaving, vomiting between telling Lo he will, he should drive her to work in a storm, not to walk in the storm. Lo wondering… can she trust Da to drive her?
Fun to explore the decision of what genre would be best for a narrative. Interesting to learn what these characters insist on–poetry, my usual genre, or fiction?
Da, girl says
Are you sure you can drive?
Five minutes, he says.
Coffee effort Not doing it.
Can you boil water, Lo,
Five minutes more, he says,
Don’t walk, I hear
Da, she whispers,
I’ll lost my job,
Searching the sideways blizzard.
***And a link to Hayden’s poem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46461/those-winter-sundays
Just something I found on an old flash drive. Will edit, revise, see where it goes.
Just a few snippets from that time ten years ago, since I am submitting a revised/ edited full version for publication and don’t want to have this considered published.
you are not alone
sometimes I am
in your dreams
a pink cat who speaks.
I am at the top of the stairs
as a shield.
Little sister, sometimes
I am in between the lines of
words from decades ago
straight to your mirror.
A boy, on the verge of being what is referred to as a young man, asked for his mother.
Where is she? What have you done to her?
And because he was a boy mistaken for being older, they answered him.
She is gone. She won’t becoming back.
He knew not to cry in front of those men with the prickly faces and matter of fact voices.
And he knew that this news, of the loss of one person, changed everything. (Image from The Art Institute of Chicago, Mark Chagall’s Chicago Windows.)
(From a work in progress)
The heart knew it was 55 years ago that you last went to that restaurant with your uncle. Do you say something to him?
Probably not because back then you were a child who was too small to even look out of the backseat of his car and see the snow covered streets, streets with no one but children who had been forced from their home during another Sunday night alcohol fueled rage. Do you say something, hoping he would remember?
Do you look at him and realize that back then he was barely more than a teenager himself, so young and proud of his red 1963 Chevy with back then unheard of features of automatic windows and doors. I drove all the way from the city to pick up the kids, your uncle said, so they wouldn’t be walking in that empty field or the swamp.
You look at your uncle and realize he’s nearly 80 now. You look at his hands that have had dozens of operations from damage done during the lifespan of a laborer.
Yet he still has that boyish smile, the quick wit, the quick temper.
But he’s 80 and you’re not eight years old anymore. You have a career, an education, a loving kind spouse.
But this is a gratitude 55 years in the making , for taking a child off the street that night, making jokes, buying hot chocolate, anything other than spending a cold winter night alone outside.
You can’t say thank you for that to an 80-year-old uncle. You just can’t. You’ve never spoken about it.
You reach across the table, take the check, walk to the counter and pay.
A few years ago, I found this old rough draft of a poem I started after we had moved. I keep losing it and then finding it. This time, I won’t lose it, but I will revise, edit, and work on the poem. There is something to the “moving on” theme that is compelling–maybe escape is the correct term?
In any case, thanks for reading.
Note: …..many stanzas before this…won’t post here so I can publish one day… and took out middle stanzas
Memories, you said. I cannot move.
These have been
the best years of my life here.
How can you say that, I asked,
not wanting to see the paint-peeled walls
or the missing tiled floors even one more time.
They were my years with you, you said.
Today I looked for photos
I am sure I threw away in my
haste to leave and I wonder
how I could have been so cruel
how can I
live with such moving love?
What a pleasure to find an old rough draft of a poem on an old flash drive. I was looking for a document when I found this, simply titled: “Work on this poem.”
So I will work on this poem. I’m not sure about the rhetorical questions or who the “you” in the poem is, but I like a bit of mystery.
It starts like this…
wrap blistered feet.
Earthbound, I walk
How would I drive?
Bridges stop around curves,
hidden in the fog or dust
a glimpse of surprised faces
into the wide river of our poetry.
Where could I drive?
Then it goes on, but I won’t post more since I want to revise and rework to submit.
Thanks for reading.