a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Saturday, April 26, 2014

#TeacherPoets WEEK TWO


Chris Lehman is hosting Teacher Poets, a free online poetry workshop to connect, inspire, and rejuvenate teacher poets.   
Last week's prompt was to convey a big idea through a small moment.  I wrote a poem.  It was terrible.  More importantly, I didn't love it.  So, in turn, I didn't post it.  Then, during last week's live streaming, something magical happened.  I think it may have been the power of poetry at work.  I am certain it was the power of a writing group to restore, to nudge, to inspire.  So, as soon as the Teacher Poet chat ended, I began writing.  This is my new poem for week two.  Better late than never.

In the Middle of the Produce Department

I hold a plastic produce bag in my left hand
and reach for a tomato with my right.
The grocery list tucked loosely inside my purse
urges me to pile tomatoes into a bag
and move on to gather the rest of my dinner.

But my fingers know better.
They wrap around the tomato
pull it gently from its cluster,
carry it away from the bag
close enough for me to breath
the earthy green scent of raw vine.

In the middle of the produce department
my heart has gone
and traveled back
to the narrow path
that runs alongside Grandma’s house

Tomato plants grow
tall enough to look me in the eye
a delicate tangle of leafy stems
vining amongst wire support frames.

I am surrounded
by plant
and earth
and brick
and green
and concrete
and love.

In the middle of the produce department
my heart returns
a tomato falls into a plastic bag
a list gets checked off.

I move on through the store,
smiling behind a shopping cart that holds
plant
earth
brick
green
concrete
and love.

1 comment:

  1. The mind is so amazing, how it can transport you from a grocery store through time to a special place from the past. I love the way you chose the line breaks, especially the single word lines.

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