a notebook

Dangles between my mom’s weathered 
fingers, pages unclaimed.

Ticonderoga in hand
Pencil to paper.
I am ready,
have been ready for six years.
but my mind draws a blank.

Learning to write is like learning
To think, to entertain, to surrender—
And so at eight years old, in the darkness of my bed,
I lean over the untouched notebook, letting my pencil 
tiptoe across the blank page.

The tiptoe slips into a trot, twirls
into a dance; before I know it, the chains unwind,
and my mind expands, explores, tumbles.
My mind quietly yearns to span the page;
a gust of identity wriggles free. 
Each page becomes past memory,
a quest for the present, a journey accompanied
By self.

My companion is a force.

I plunge into the page; the blinds pinch
moonlight that slants across my words.
Between the lines of light and writing I imbue
blanks with meaning, empty pages with love and hope,
a wooden artifact of purpose.

The words come endlessly,
tearing my hunched body from my bed,
toss me from past to memory,
heart ripped into a thousand pieces
and taped together again
until I’m dropped

into a hospital bed. Wires clinging to my
wrists, blinds drawn shut. Words sing to me,
disappear from my pages of spilt ink.
I fight, mind reaching forward;
Anesthesia takes over.
Doctor tells me to think about a balloon, drifting
away. Count to 15. I’ve only lived to ten, but
eyes flutter shut, mouth refuses to open. Once again,
I’m shrouded in darkness.
I forget the warmth.

Scattered sunrise beams frame my hunched body
digging through bottom
drawer dust, searching for a rogue glue stick,
my fingers sweep the pink
notebook cover, unearthing a gloss
glittering dangerously. Flipping
through the pages, the memories, feelings,
love embedded in the babygirl letters.

This Belongs to: Me
This Belongs to: Me
This Belongs to: Me
This Belongs to: Me
This Belongs to: Me
This Belongs to: Me

The words call out.
I forgive. I remember.

On the next empty page, I set my pencil down;
I’m ready to rediscover myself

and so I begin—

2 thoughts on “a notebook

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