From the dirt road, I steer a car sliding into the drive sideways. As it slows I leap from the seat. Hearing my daughter’s cries echo deep from a half-full pale, I pull her out. Her head disfigured, eyes wonky, I clean and dry her, worried about chemicals. As I finish, the smiling girl enters, shining, followed by her brother and mother. Puzzled, the three look at me as I hold in my arms the lopsided doll from the bottom of the bucket –so still, fixed and unreal.
I used to just hang out with people and not worry about how I presented myself or what we were doing. We just did things together. I have lost who I am in all this.
My alarm was going off. No, it was a phone call:
“This is Karen from the Early Learning Center.”
My sleepy mind thought of a place I had applied to volunteer, but it was my friend from Marysville and my former working life. I started to explain my interest in volunteering which had to do with working with speech pathologists.
“I’m sorry did I wake you up.”
“Yeah, but that’s alright.”
“I knew it might be a risk calling so early, but I am in the closet trying to figure some this stuff out.”
I was glad it was the Karen I knew calling me from a closet trying to figure things out. It actually made sense.
I am feeling so let down and patronized. Should I feel flattered? I should make what I want of the position.
I was looking at a giant Ladybug Magazine with someone. Then I was riding a motorized tricycle through a dark neighborhood full of shadowy dangers. My friend’s dad opened the sliding glass door and I drove right into the house.
If I write
and write like a fiend
all I have seen, heard and done,
Leave not a crumb unfound,
All bound into the manuscript
Of greedy contemplation.
Every cell in my body cries out with a separate life.
How am I one being?
Am I a consensus of all these voices,
a conglomeration of the loudest calls?
I make decisions , but most of that process is subterranean
complex beyond my comprehension,
The “I” I use
a small part of a system
full of contradictions.
How to walk a narrow path
With such ballast to manage?
How to remain true to any values
when there are all these
competing clamorous mouths
that cry out from within to be fed?
Jumping into a precarious situation
Balanced by creativity and action,
Rough cream drapes
Two sticky kisses
Against lowered venetian blinds