Day 4 of All the Things I Wish I Had Said (While You Were Still Here)
The Prompt is to write a couplet. I am balking, but perhaps I should try.
Like a great oak tree, within your leafy heart
I see how you protectively conceal
your secret griefs. You stand apart
and only partially reveal
the aches and losses that have brought you low.
Be strong, my friend. Some day you’ll let them go.
It’s hard to put things into rhyme, but satisfying, too. I couldn’t find my way to a couplet until I hit those last two lines, and I feel as though the poem sounds more like an accusation than it is intended. It is meant to be simply a way of saying, “I see that you are carrying your past pain with great determination.” At first, I typed: “the aches and losses that have brought you down. / You wear them like a martyr’s crown,” which I think is poetically stronger than this, but it didn’t say what I wanted to say at all.
I want to keep working with couplets and rhymes. I do not usually actively rhyme in my poetry, but I try to pay attention to the internal assonance and consonance within the lines, and trying to form a poem around a rhyme is a helpful exercise. I think it opens new processing pathways in the brain.
1. (Who did you see?) That soft-eyed curious doe who stood on Oriole Bluff behind the house and watched us watching her through the dining room window. We did not climb the hill to see, but I have a hunch that she may have hidden a dappled child of shadow in the tall grasses up there.
2. (What was magical?) Fireflies like sparks, like stars, twinkling all around us.
3. (What was satisfying?) Making fire with the children, roasting marshmallows and hot dogs. (This was the first that I have really craved meat in the past year, but Jon had bought some vegetarian “sausages” that were mostly sufficient to the moment.)
4. (What is energizing?) I will be finished with my grading by the evening. It was hard, so hard, to get into it yesterday, and I fought it off by organizing papers and stacks from the year. And now, those stacks are organized, and I am also almost finished with the grades.
5. (What do you anticipate?) Continuing to find the rhythms of summer. I have a Teachers as Scholars seminar at Messiah College this week, so I cannot quite set up the new patterns, but I want to give parts of each day to preparing for the fall and to working on some writing projects.
May we walk in Beauty!