As some of you know, my family and I experienced a house fire last June. We lost almost the entire second floor of our house, and while we were all okay (and out of town when it happened), we also lost our bearded dragon Oscar and our gecko Merlin.
The event has been hard for all of us, some more than others. As we move from temporary house to temporary house, and as work on our house slowly gets underway, I find myself ungrounded and questioning a number of things. I suppose that’s all understandable. I remain steadfast in my sobriety, if nothing else. Writing has been elusive for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is that I usually don’t have anything to say. Or when I do have something to say, I have no desire to share it. This is perfectly fine; it’s not like the masses are teeming to read my words. But perhaps there is something to be said for sharing my work. A friend of mine told me not terribly long ago that given the state of our country and world, putting art into the world is more important than ever. I don’t necessarily feel that way, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. As another friend said, feelings aren’t truth.
For now–at least, for today– I choose to believe my words matter. Perhaps they matter to one person only. That’s okay.
Enough navel-gazing. Here’s a poem.
I hate the way you look at me
like I did something awful,
as if I murdered your father
while he watched the sun set,
counting the moments until
the light passed and he resumed
his skulking and sniffing, nosing
out prey as he roamed the rooms
of the duplex where you grew up
and grew wary of everyone—
especially men—and where you
vowed never to be ensnared by a look,
a word, a promise, or a threat…
you, swimming forever in a sea
of dark compromises while the sun
remains hidden as long as it can.