So I start my days by flicking over to the http://www.napowrimo.net/ to get the daily poetry prompt. “Today’s prompt is based in a poem by Larry Levis called “The Two Trees.” It is a poem that seems to meander, full of little digressions, odd bits of information, but fundamentally, it is a poem that takes time. It takes its time getting where it’s going, and the action of the poem itself takes place over months. Today, I’d like to challenge you to similarly write something that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time. Perhaps, as you do, you can focus on imagery, or sound, or emotional content (or all three!)”
It’s a tall order for before 7am. I needed cereal first. Am off to teach nine 10-11 year olds soon, trying to facilitate their unfolding a story. But I decided to be game. As I have told the little kids, being creative means being willing to fail.
They were planning the move
while I was still in the womb.
I was born knowing how to pack.
I can make a life in a room.
I can shed skin like a snake.
I can abandon my shell.
I was born knowing to forsake.
I was bottlefed in an hotel.
This transitory life,
roaming, more than rolling rock.
Collecting some accoutrements,
then dispersing my householder's stock.
I have left behind plenty
changes of address notes.
I have left behind some dreams' scope.
I've crawled into a few lifeboats.
Moving felt most like home.
Being the stranger is my
inalienable right zone
of every place, or none, then one.
The nomad took a settler
to husband for all of life,
an acre and a full quarter
to have and hold and to be wife.
It's a briary place
with roots that know to tunnel
and trap the escaping ankles
preparing to go off on travels.
The rock can rest, roll no more.
It can remain still at last.
What is it to know a homeplace?
That all the packing is now past.
Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.