Sunday, March 20, 2011


my girl
is on the phone
with a friend.
girl hates talking on the phone,
but this is an old, good, dear friend
who needs the comfort of voice
and not just connection through text
or online chat.

I don't want to intrude.
It's not my business.
I vanish into the basement
to run a small load of laundry
(preparation for the girl's shift
to her father's tomorrow
after eighteen days here,
longer than usual
because of Ohio Graduation Tests,
we were loathe
to make her stress over moving
from me to him).

I turn up the music
on my iTunes
to drown out the words
seeping through the wall
between living room where she is
and study where I am.

It's been a decent day.
I like decent days,
need them now and then.
I didn't feel any pangs of grief today,
managed to forget the crack in the world.
I needed a break from mourning.
We attended a musical comedy production
by a new theatre in our little town.
It was so good,
I felt surges of hope
exploding from my throat
as I laughed
and laughed.

God. I love teenagers.

The show inspired me.
Lately, I've been remembering
that one aspect of my life
that I let go after the girl was born:
performance or production
or being part of a play.
The show's director
starts teaching an adult improv/acting class
next Sunday.
Twenty-five dollars for six weeks
of class. Quite a bargain,
and if it's not, well, I can always do
what I do best
and quit. But I'm at least going to start
because, really, why not?

It's been so long
since I've put my voice and body
on the stage
doing anything other
than performing
my own poems
that I've grown shy again
(though you'd never know
how painful it is
for me to engage
with people
because I've learned
to hide
the excruciating nature
of timidity. Really. You'd never know).

I think my Girl has gone upstairs,
so it may be safe
for me to enter the kitchen,
turn on the water,
scrub the dinner dishes and wipe down
stove and counters
without worrying that I will overhear
or she will feel that I might overhear.

We watched Inception tonight
(my first time, her second).
I think little bits of my brain
cling to the sofa.
Hell of a film.
I'm going to be afraid
to dream. I tend
to be aware in my dreams
that I am dreaming
and used to have a knack
for rewinding the terrible dreams
in which I died
and undoing the thing
that caused my death.

The late Harry Wilmer,
former boss (founder of the Salado Institute for the Humanities)
and Jungian psychoanalyst,
found this ability of mine
wondered if it increased
that summer I was pregnant.
We walked to the yogurt store
every day
for a cup or cone, his treat,
and we talked
like peers,
not like boss and intimidated assistant/editor.
I loved him more that summer....

I never told him that I wasn't that fond
of frozen yogurt.

I miss him. He was complex and challenging,
but he opened people's souls
to different possibilities,
including mine. One of my many
beloved departed.

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