Hello from the Port Townsend (Washington) Writers Conference, where I’m Mark and I are working this week. I’m lucky enough to have the lightest possible teaching load, though in an hour I’m up with my craft class on prose style, which I’ve done so many times over the years that I could probably say it backwards. Still, the sparks of hot nerves--well, at least it's better than it used to be. Later today, I think I’ll be fully able to take in where we are: the ridge of Whidbey Island across the channel, the kelp, the smell of cold, deep water. In the meantime, a few pictures. And something I read at my reading last night, which came from my challenge of last week.
The Mother Sits Down on the Bed
The mother sits down on the bed. She has just come back from checking on the sons whose throats were stuck with thoughts of her. They seemed to her in constant motion, one laying down cork, another practicing an English horn, a third trying and failing to write of her, as if by capturing her walk, or the wobble of her hello, he’d be doing a little something to bring her back. But she should talk. It is hard work to be dead. She should have been in training for this, instead of putting her feet up in front of the TV, eating crackers.
The fields of the earth are full of nests, and when a tractor goes by the eggs in the nests crack open, as if the birds inside their shells cannot stand the rumble one more minute. They want to fly and they’re tired of being warmed. But the mother is grateful to be away from all that. The earth buzzes with noise and shoots push up through the festive green. Do not pause, my lovelies. Still, her urge to cool down their faces does not match her urge to stay where she is.