Redo’s and Reckonings
The sun is hiding like a child playing hide and go seek. These mornings, darkness greets my lumbering body coercing its way from sleep. Along the linoleum floor in the kitchen, my feet pad and slap, as my arm reaches for the light switch.
It is morning. It is night.
Darkness stands like two bookends to each day and the sunlight has become the book I’m reading voraciously. In a week I will stumble into the yawning maw of another year. It befuddles me in the way that only the end of the year creep can. I’m doing a dance with a buddha’s hand, a different one, mind you than the one who invited me onto the floor.
We survey each other. The end I’d planned for it is not the one I’m planning to tackle after all. Sometimes it’s important to change course or let the food continue revealing and inspiring.
In poetry, the poem is often found in revision. At times, the initial poem ends up being a pre-write only, an exercise for getting at the main thing itself. Sometimes all that remains of an initial poem is a single strong line or the solid bits, underlined scraps and pieces strewn throughout. Sometimes it involves starting from the end of the poem and writing backwards. Does that make the initial poem a failure- not at all. It is a necessary thing and the departure from the original is just as important as the initial stab.
The buddha’s hand and I survey each other and I now understand what I had originally planned no longer serves.
Instead, I wait. We continue the dance.
I put the poem in the drawer for a day or two and then pull it back out, reading it again with eyes that bring a new day’s light and the two bookends of darkness as filters.