I Need a Longer Line

11 Apr

wpid-20150411_171841.jpgThere is a buzz in my chest
As my daughter’s focus
Takes hold, as her hands
Hold the cello and work the bow,
Bending her elbows with ease.

The thing is, I sometimes think in poetry. There are times I express myself best in verse, in sounds, in rhyme or alliteration, in the shape of a stanza, the break of a line, but there are times I need a long line of prose instead – I need a line to go on and on and on into the night, beyond when the dogs knead the blankets and settle into their tortellini curls, beyond when my Honey turns out our bedroom lamp, beyond the closed books and the late night train a mile away.

I need unstoppable, unshapeable lines.

So here I am in National Poetry Month – when the middle schoolers have dioramas and displays to illustrate their themed poetry up and down the corridors – an ocean, a volcano, a pumpkin, a treasure box, words along the sides, on the ceilings, dangling from the tails of fish –

And I am challenged – so challenged – to try, too.

Daily, I challenge myself to shape and sound my way through a think that isn’t pre-thunk, to stumble and stand and make peace with putting words out there, even if they aren’t yet reaching for the stars … because this is human. This is how people are. We try and fail and try and fail and soar.

I cannot think of a time when I opened my mind’s flood gates and watched all the gems wash ashore. That’s not how I write. I mine for the gems and to mine, I need time. Time and time and time. Time for a pre-think. Writing and rewriting and reading and reaching.

And today, I need a longer line.

*  *  *
National Poetry Writing Month

30 poems in 30 days

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