Tuesday, January 13

It's hard, these days, to find a thing to say.  I mean to find a thing to say that someone might say something back to.  It's hard to have someone say something back.  It is all too much.

Last night there were six drummers waiting to play.  They each had their own style.  One a little more uptight, another had jazzy flick of the wrist.  One played earnestly.  One without a care in the world.  I was happy listening to each of them.

Today at the kitchen table we talked about words and poets and people.  The sun was shining through the dirty window behind him.  That window is my window, I thought.  I am a housewife with dirty windows.  I should clean that window, I thought.  I know I won't.

I don't know what makes better words or better drummers or better poets or better people.  I know what makes a window dirty.  It is dirt on the window.

Monday, January 12

Trying for the life of me to think of some words that ring true.

Saturday, January 10

Try these on, I say. 

I won't wear these to school, she says. 

The past week she has been tucking her long blond hair up under a cap and going to school as the new boy.  She wears hand-me-downs from her cousins and pants from her brother's drawer.  She calls herself Robert.

I know, I say.  I didn't get them for you to wear to school. 

She expected a fight.  I'm not fighting.  I unzip the brown leather boot and hold it out to her.  She pulls the boot on and looks at me.  I am not wearing these to school.

I got them for running with your bow and arrow, I say.  Boots on, she leaves the room. 

Hours later she is running through the living room, bow slung across her chest, long hair behind her, pink pants tucked into her brown leather boots.  She is singing at the top of her lungs.  I don't know what she is calling herself now.

Friday, January 9

Today's snow unshoveled on the walk.  Blankets hung in the windows.  So much is going undone that eating leftovers feels productive.

Thursday, January 8

Two aisles in and I find myself sad in Market Basket.  I can't even make myself smile at the old people so I try not to make eye contact.  Not even with the white-haired woman who lived with Danuta.  I decide to skip much of the store.  Get what we need for lunches and dinner.  Look toward the end of the aisle.  By frozen foods I am nearly crying.

I end up in the wrong check out lane.  The woman ringing in my food smiles and jokes.  I make a smile back at her.  The boy bagging can't look up and can't start until he has all the food in front of him.  He changes his mind about where the spinach goes.  Lines the soda water up so the labels face the same way.  I want to be home.  The air outside is cold and full of memories.  I want to be home where no one will talk to me.  Where no one will remember him to me.

Outside, groceries in  the back of the truck and the door won't close.  Broken maybe from the cold or maybe from being old and tired.  I drive home with one hand clutching the wheel, the other holding the door shut.  On right turns it opens a crack and the alarm sounds until I can pull it closed again.  On left turns I ease my grip.  I make it through two rotaries, past a police officer and home.

Wednesday, January 7

One is the song stuck in my head.
Two are the children up in their beds.
Three is the ache that won't go away.
Four are the bills still left to pay.
Five are the points on the morning star.
Six are the strings on my old guitar.
Seven is loneliness.  Always.  Again.
Eight is the turnaround.  Turnaround then
Nine is the steps walking back to the start
Ten it is over and time to part.

Tuesday, January 6

All of a sudden the night isn't young. 
I forgo all that is left undone--
the cleaning, responding, the bills and the work
so that years from now my daughter
will remember me playing the fiddle
downstairs while she was falling asleep.

Sunday, January 4

Rainy Sunday, warm and wet.  Yesterday's snow is all but gone.  All around town people are readying themselves for tomorrow's routine.  The market full of mothers buying food for lunches.  Lines of cars at gas stations.  All of us quickening.

It is nearly midnight.  The kids have been in bed for four hours and still aren't asleep.  They are fighting the end of the break tooth and nail, eyes wide open and bodies tense.

Friday, January 2

I wish I had a picture of them sitting on the floor, sketchbooks in hand.  The ladies in their fine museum clothes stepped around them.  The men with canes spoke over them.  Children love mobiles, they said.  They love the way they move. 

The children don't hear them.  They draw carefully, intently, copying the ribs of Calder's creatures, capturing the movement with light, feathery lines. 

Thursday, January 1

The cats are curled up on the radiator.  The kitchen floor still needs to be mopped.  My feet are tired and my back is tired but my eyes are wide open.  For the moment everything is quiet and I am happy being quiet.