Waiting

I have written one poem in my adult life. One.

In a previous blog post, I wrote about my experience as a student at UC Santa Cruz, during a period in my life when my husband and I were living nearly two-thousand miles apart. In this post, I write about how I found great solace in a printing course. If you haven’t read that blog post yet, click here!

During those 3 academic quarters, I was coerced (maybe persuaded is a more realistic term) into producing at least ONE poem. Resistant though I was, I gave in. You see, my professor could be quite persistent! I had printed plenty of work written by others, but I had yet to create something that was entirely mine. So, I went for it. Like, really went for it.

I wrote the damn poem.

It wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected. In fact, it was actually kind of fun. That being said, I would prefer my professor never find out how I really felt about that grueling process, so please keep that bit to yourself.

Once I wrote the poem, I copied it onto tracing paper so I could then transfer it onto a linoleum block – backward! I then painstakingly carved that sucker into the linoleum block, trying all the while not to stab myself along the way (I did stab myself). Once the linoleum block was prepared, I slathered it in thick black ink, cut my paper to size, and printed off a pile of poems — poems written by me.

I have to admit, I felt pretty proud of myself once it was all done. I like to read, and I like to write, but poetry just felt so far out of my league. I didn’t feel deep enough to produce anything of worth. And, to be honest, I still don’t feel like I could or would ever even want to be a poet. There are plenty of people out there who are passionate about this artistry, and I am going to gracefully exclude myself from the bunch. And yet, at least I can say, during one particularly independent and adventurous time in my life, I wrote the fucking poem. Here it is.

WAITING

I pack my luggage, check-in,

And drive thirty minutes

For a quick kiss at the curb —

Nothing more.

I wait patiently

In the security line.

I kill time in the gift shop,

Then file onto the plane

And into my pre-assigned seat.

A long shuttle ride home,

Meaningless chitchat,

And now it’s time to unpack,

Shower, and settle into bed.

It will be one month

Until I see you again.

Now is the time

When the real waiting begins.

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