Thanks to everybody who got in touch with me yesterday: the Dr. appointment was indeed a Hope-Raiser. I spent a lot of the appointment trying not to burst into tears, because my doctor just tries SO. HARD. I came away with a couple of negatives (my muscle tone is decreasing again; flu shot is hit or mix for me; my tender points are getting worse),a few next steps (increasing the Lyrica dosage; adding flax seed to my cereal in the mornings for its anti-inflammatory properties; continuing to wait and wait for those electro-microscopic biopsy results), and no frickin idea of what the hell most of it means. He's just the nicest guy, though, and I hate leaving his office feeling like we are failing each other, especially when I know that we are both doing our best.
On to... Poetry Thursday!
This was a day when nothing happened,
the children went off to school
without a murmur, remembering
their books, lunches, gloves.
All morning, the baby and I built block stacks
in the squares of light on the floor.
And lunch blended into naptime,
I cleaned out kitchen cupboards,
one of those jobs that never gets done,
then sat in a circle of sunlight
and drank ginger tea,
watched the birds at the feeder
jostle over lunch's little scraps.
A pheasant strutted from the hedgerow,
preened and flashed his jeweled head.
Now a chicken roasts in the pan,
and the children return,
the murmur of their stories dappling the air.
I peel carrots and potatoes without paring my thumb.
We listen together for your wheels on the drive.
Grace before bread.
And at the table, actual conversation,
no bickering or pokes.
And then, the drift into homework.
The baby goes to his cars, drives them
along the sofa's ridges and hills.
Leaning by the counter, we steal a long slow kiss,
tasting of coffee and cream.
The chicken's diminished to skin & skeleton,
the moon to a comma, a sliver of white,
but this has been a day of grace
in the dead of winter,
the hard cold knuckle of the year,
a day that unwrapped itself
like an unexpected gift,
and the stars turn on,
into the winter night.
This poem speaks to the wanting, the longing in me. These are the kind of ordinary days I'd like to have, some day. My ordinary is extraordinary just by it's very nature: having to survive each moment, each day is difficult in ways you don't think to express. And one of those ways is the absence of ordinary.
But, even though I don't have the family I might wish for, I do have the family I've got. And my nephew and I spent many of our days building block towers, racing his cars back and forth across the kitchen floor. I know all about the "drift into homework," and "peel(ing) the potatoes and carrots without paring my thumb." We might not have pheasants in the yard, but there is a lot here that is recognizable.
And that closing, the lyrical language in this sentence:
The chicken's diminished to skin & skeleton/the moon to a comma/ a sliver of white/ but this has been a day of grace/ in the dead of winter/ the hard cold knuckle of the year/ a day that unwrapped itself/ like an unexpected gift"
That there is an intense beauty in even these smallest moments is one of this poem's most powerful meanings.
And I can only hope that our winter ~ yours and mine ~ will be full of these days of grace.