I have a friend whose last name is Clear, and sometimes we’ve joked we ought to go into business together. Strong and Clear. I’d hire us, wouldn’t you?
Putting so much of myself out into the world through my poems came this summer with the counterweight of pulling in, spending a lot of early mornings on the deck facing the backyard–and a conspicuous absence of words. It’s as if I’d used them all up in the book, a story that took me thirty-eight years to be ready to tell.
I’ve been here enough times to know that they will circle back around; more poems will ask to be written or simply find me, and I will scrawl them down and they will once again mirror my days. For now though, I’m feeling a bit cocooned.
School starts tomorrow and the girls and I have been walking circles around each other in the house for the past few days, the lack of structure wearing thin even as we enjoy the last hurrah of the fair, the pool, the playtime.
There was how it felt to see that the lawn had grown long again, just days after I mowed. The bees’ nest under the grill. A nearly fourth-grader, whose feet are now just half a size smaller than mine, out in the driveway with her BFF and a bucket of soapy water, leaving my car spotless. A first-grade girl the world perceives as a boy, navigating public bathrooms at summer camp, strong and clear in her voice, in her body, her discoveries and choices. A weekend of friendship in Chicago, with hours and hours of nothing but coffee and talking, and sundaes for dinner and soaking at the Korean spa. Job interviews. Waiting.
The bottom line: there is always so much I want to write about, and all I know is that for whatever reasons right now, the writing is otherwise occupied. I don’t think it’s hiding out on me, but it’s very possible that it has claimed some kind of well-earned vacation, leaving me home to sweep the kitchen, sort through the old photos in preparation for cleaning out the basement, make the grown-up decisions my life is asking of me, and sit in the car as they circle it with the hose, watching the clear water cascade over the windows, the world outside growing brighter through the glass.