Empty...#Sol 16 --Day 21
I have nothing to write about...All the topics that come to my mind I either don't like, or do not feel comfortable sharing. I have not made any original observations or reached any epiphanies today.
Feel free to stop reading. I understand.
I guess I now feel like my students who are stuck in a void...stuck in front of blank pages. Ideas hop in and out of my mind. I will need to grab one and just write...
I still need to finish grading short stories for my Creative Writing class. So, I need to take a deep breath, and let words slip from my fingers.
Okay, since I am stuck, I will allow images to lead me:
I see a dirt path
It takes me to a well
made of stones.
Sitting on the well
like a flaunting mistress
is a new silver pail
and a new coarse rope
gathered by its side
loyally by its side.
I want to grab the rope
and feel its straightening pull
as the silver pail plunges into
the dark water.
It takes longer to hear the
I almost have nothing left of the cord
When I feel the new silver
pail hit the water.
I try to maneuver the cord
to pull water up
up I pull and the silver
pail emerges from the darkness
with splashing water from side to side.
I take the pail,
look into it to see a wobbly
reflection of my New York smile
against a moving sky.
I did it! I did it!
I got some water out of the well
without any help.
And now I will pour this water
into an open-mouth bucket
to wash myself in the open air
pouring yellow cups of water on
my body parts as I make sure
no one walks into the yard.
Fighting suds with little cups of
Missing the feel of my hot U.S. showers.
New York girl used to locking doors
visiting family outside the Haitian Capital
Bathing with the wide touch of the hot
sun on my back...
even as I shiver from my chest's and toes' contact with
the outside air, the spread of the sun
rays on the skin on my back
feels like a warm blanket fresh out of the dryer.
The dirty water gathered in the open-mouth bucket
I pour down the narrow open sewer
that lines the periphery of the yard:
the dirt washed from my body floating in the water
Little oily flecks of brown patches
floating on the well water.
swirling down the grate-less sewer
outside the gates of our cousin's home
down the main streets.
Landing by the province's church to
rest and mix with the dirt of others
the aimless litter of pedestrians.
Where does this dirty water end up?
I dare confess I do not know.
A well of water whose depth
I will never know
Water tainted with the dust of my body
I have never bothered to know.
(I USUALLY REACH AN EPIPHANY or A PLAY OF WORDS AT THE END OF MY POEMS. THERE IS NOTHING...NOTHING...Thank God I do not write Poetry to pay the mortgage. Though I feel discouraged now, I know words will show up at my doorstep tomorrow.)
I think I will end here because truthfully, I have no idea where this poem is leading me.
I am empty tonight, but I will sleep with the knowledge that there are wells out there
that are nourishing long lost brothers and sisters back in Haiti.