1. I had to take my son to the doctor and hospital yesterday. For a diagnostic chest x-ray. He has bronchitis. Thankfully not pneumonia, but he's been out of school two weeks, and now another week while he gets rid of his nasty cough. A kid at home sick is keeping me from writing poetry.
2. My spring garden must be planted. Today I must pull weeds and buy spinach starts, and plant mustard and arugula seeds. Today I must dig the earth and mulch it with compost. A hoe in hand is pre-empting my fifteen minutes of scribbling.
3. For reasons I will not go into, the playroom needs to be organized. I need to go to Storables and purchase white wicker baskets. Then I need to hide all the unsightly toys, organize all the sightly toys, and make the playroom look like it's being used without making it look messy. (This never happens in real life, but never mind). While I am organizing the puzzles and blocks, I will not have a pen in hand.
4. My daughter has been begging me all week to take her to the Science Center. I love taking her to the Science Center, but this will make it difficult to . . . you know what.
Excuses? Worthy excuses? I hate excuses. (If you read my blog, you should know that about me by now.)
Listen: I know that there's always a good and valid excuse out there not to write--vomiting due to a dose of chemotherapy, trips to Costco for diapers and wipes, a splitting headache, having to take the cat to the vet. There is always a good excuse to not pull out one's notebook for even fifteen minutes and jot down a few images or recall a childhood memory of chasing after the Good Humor truck.
Sometimes we're just too tired or defeated or brimming with loss to pick up a pencil or pen.
Okay, I'll make a deal with myself. Sometime today, when I'm resting from digging or patting down dirt, I will pull out my notebook and write a poem about seeing my son's scrawny naked chest against a wall, standing so still and holding his breath, and/or about planting a garden with two 6-year olds. I do have a lot to rejoice about, to be thankful for, but even if I didn't, even if he did have pneumonia or worse, I still know I would turn to poetry to help me through it.
That's what poetry, to me, is about.