My Morning in the House
It’s quiet here, and I can think. The dogs bounce around outside, probably hoping to find moles. The Thanksgiving Cactus leans west, maybe to see if I notice her. I am her only caregiver, so I stay alert to her white buds, her green pointy stems.
A small drink for her as I ponder my next writing plan. Like the cactus, I hit a dry spell with prose some months ago. I did not want to accept it, at first. Nevertheless, I believe when one door closes, another opens. I do not feel dead in the water or totally blocked in writing prose, but it is clear that I need to shift my writing in another direction.
This strange thing happens to writers and artists.
As we were driving up a mountain road last week, I said to my husband, “I want to visit the woman who lives here. I think she knows something about life that I need to hear.” His response: “Well then, do it.” That fit nicely for me.
I suddenly knew I wanted to interview women on aging issues, their struggles, their courage, their coping habits. We all know some women who are remarkable, but even they can’t hold this messy world together. Too much. But that makes me curious. How do these women cope with their own messes? Life is messy. We all know this, right?
I want to hear the details of how other amazing women cope, and I want to share it in blog form. My plan is to ask interview questions and ask for their thoughts on particular things. (Presently, I’m forming statements and questions. More to come.)
Meanwhile, I wrote a poem for you. That alone makes me happy. Bless you for reading my poems! (My hope is that my writing is helpful to you or that you can identify with me.)
Sometimes I Still Try to Hold My World Together
An impossible task. How many of us
try being the glue at work, at home?
Friend, you and I can only do so much.
We must sleep sometime, but to tell the truth,
I awaken—even to a dog’s whimper.
Somehow it’s easy to ignore the build-up of dust
on heater and floors—giving me space
to talk with an old friend, to listen to my husband.
Another inner tug—
to sit alone and write.
Despite my internal war,
I’m always looking through
barren trees showing skeletons, hoping
to find the junco, chickadee, crow.
(And that’s how I made it through
the plague years—watching birds.)
I still mess around with glue now and then,
but there’s no actual way to bring back
the starched world I once knew.
More and more, I am leaning into the sky
and forgiving the world, forgiving myself.
Oh—and I keep daffodils in my heart for everyone
I ever held dear.
It helps ease my head.
Poetry is how I process. I’ll continue to read it, write it, and share it. Also, it’ll be fun to see how my prose-writing shifts.
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you.
May God bless you in a favored way,
Tree skeletons in the Ozarks. Photographed by Pat Durmon, November 17, 2023.
Poetry Books by Pat Durmon
Prose by Pat Durmon
The story of Lee R. Farrier from Norfork, Arkansas, is Pat's first book of prose and a tribute to Lee, the town of Norfork, and its people. All profits from sales go toward a scholarship at Norfork High School. Going Home: A Memoir by Pat Durmon with Lee R. Farrier