This morning it is “threatening” rain as we like to say around here. It is a threat we often pray for and have been praying for almost constantly over this last year. When the sky darkens and thunder bumps about ricocheting from cloud to cloud, I most often grab a cup of coffee and head to my study, my sanctum sanctorum (not at all holy, simply my private space), a place I adore in spite of its crowded clutter. Though I am generally tidy by nature, I am not when it comes to my writing room. There I and the room are a mess–stacks of books, notebooks, papers, ink cartridges, pens, pencils, files, and memorabilia in constant disarray.
Today I find myself going through a folder of “poems” I’ve written–a few recently, most from years ago. I do not readily share my poems. Not being particularly self-aware, I don’t always know why I do not, but I suspect it is latent insecurity, a certain privateness, and most likely a strong suspicion that no one will want to read them. Nevertheless, I have decided to share a couple more of my verses. The first, titled “MILITARY WIFE,” was written many years ago and took third place in the Byliners of Corpus Christi’s Texas-Wide Writing Competition under the unrhymed poetry category. (I also won first place in their Children’s Story Competition–sorry, I simply had to throw that in.) The second poem “LATE AFTERNOON,” written sometime later, reminds me a bit of today’s weather.
,MILITARY WIFE "Forgive me," she said, "but I am tired. It sounds so awful to say that I am tired of all the friends I've had. But I am--or maybe I am tired of the inevitable, dreadful loss when friends become cards at Christmas time." "Forgive me," she said. "It is terrible to say, but I am weary of the houses--the endless list of old addresses where I warmed baby bottles in the kitchens and wrote stories late into the silent nights and rescued plastic prisoners from shattered castles strewn beneath a Big Bird bed. "I shouldn't voice these things," she said. "They're unpleasant thoughts and I'll feel better in the morning. I always do. But I am tired right now of my past jobs abandoned, our endless dispossession, our lives in cardboard boxes, our souls in moving vans." "Oh, don't be concerned," she said. "Tomorrow I'll wake up with that certain knowledge in my veins. And like a mother robin, I will collect our bits of cloth and gather in some sticks and strings with which to build again. So, please," she said, "you will forgive this lapse, this self-indulgent chat-- It is late, you know, and I am very tired." LATE AFTERNOON Late afternoon and I sit rocking. There is rain enough and peace. The porch, splashed smoothly wet, is my own porch, finally, my own chair--as God allows. In the distance, the sun, struggling against ominous clouds, spotlights a young mesquite, all liquid green, sequins shimmering in the heavy mist. Perhaps a sign. Through the wall, I hear voices and laughter that chimes like brass butterflies brushed by a strengthening breeze. For now, my family are safe and dry within the house and that is all we know of heaven.