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A Tree Poem/a Love Poem
Aug 14th, 2010 by alexfaye

A Tree Poem/a Love Poem, Alexandra Fletcher 2010

inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke

I’m no beautiful flower, sweet and delicate, swaying in the breeze.

This here is a trunk.

Run your bike into a flower, and it’s the flower who will lose.

Run your bike into me, baby, and I’ll stop you cold.

I’ll bend your rim.

This body is not slender and green. I am all knots and broken-ness.

But just see if you can move me.

Go ahead.  Try.

You’ll breakasweat bendyourback blisteryourhands

digging so deep deep so down

fighting to unloose me from places you didn’t know I could go.

It’ll take all day.  Don’t bother.  Just rest here where I rest. Stand.

Lean. String a bed up in these branches and let go. Sleep.

You see, I don’t love like a flower loves, with just one season of life behind me,

the future uncertain, all heady fragrance and shocking beauty in the right now right now.

Love like sap and history floods my body.

I have survived the fire

the drought

the blight.

Something every year.

Even so love rushes up from one thousand long and tangled places, wills me to make something familiar yet entirely new.

So yeah, that’s right.

I have birds in my hair and

I eat light for breakfast.

But when I turn it on, I’m the interplay of death and life,

I’m shelter,

I’m shade.

You could do worse.

I’ve missed you
Aug 14th, 2010 by alexfaye

But I’m back.  Say that all is forgiven.

Two weeks of summer vacation left before we jump into a new school year.  I never feel ready, and yet when the day actually arrives, we begin.  I’ve been blogging with my students all summer, and much of my energy has been directed there [AP Blog].

It’s been a busy summer, and as I look down the barrel of the last two weeks, I see just how much I did not do.  Many goals and aspirations left unrealized.  It brings to mind a poem about a woman about to undergo a dental procedure — gosh, the title is sitting just outside my peripheral vision, and I can’t think of the first line either  — in the poem, the woman is gripping the chair, but as the dentist administers the gas, she begins to loosen her grip.  She does not just let go of the chair; she lets go of her fear, her worry, her preoccupations, and she realizes,  This must be what it’s like to die.  Unrealized goals, unrealized aspirations — wave gently goodbye as they get on the train, and depart for a small fishing village in the south.  Bye bye.  “How nice the happy gas,” she says.  Although, now that I’ve said that bit about the fishing village, I believe I’m combining the dentistry poem with the Billy Collins poem on forgetfulness, which under the circumstances seems particularly apt.   Caramba. Someday, the dental poem will come rushing to mind, and I’ll run right out here and post it.

I’ve always been a relational thinker — not linear, but clusters, bubbles, concentric rings spreading in all directions like a pebble tossed onto a glassy pond.  I’ve read that menopausal women become spacier, less linear, more relational.  Well, here I am.  I’m definitely at some stage of menopause…not the tidy part where the menses actually ceases, but the part where I feel myself losing my familiar, list-making mind in favor of another calmer, weirder one.  Oh, and the waistline.  The waistline is spreading even further afield.

THIS IS A DRAFT.  I WILL RETURN TO FINISH THIS.

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