Love Poem to the Sun

a poem from a very old notebook
(If the jungle could write a poem, it would be this one.)

rise on me
scorch me
head to toe

push yellow fingers
through the millions of miles
to love me

come to me
sliding over my skin
and turn me
yellow, brown, red

i will sing for you
scream for you
howl at the moon
and dance


Open Book Test: March (23 years ago), 1992

When: March (23 years ago), 1992
Where: Goshen, Indiana
What: college junior
Age:  21

It’s Sunday now. The last two days were filled and frantic, although I did have a good time with my family. Yvonne and Michelle were so cute and funny. I took them to the dance with me on Friday night and it was pretty funny. Mom and dad brought LOTS of food plus money for shoes! I went to Walmart on Friday and got underwear, contact solution, pads…all kinds of important things.

I spent all day yesterday working in the Umble Center. Then when I came back to K’s room, he was sad and started crying. He was crying because he doesn’t want to be here—he wants to go other places. When he gets like that, it makes me scared, because he latches onto me like I’m his life breath. I sometimes wonder if he thinks we’ll be together all of our lives. I guess I wouldn’t mind, except that I’m not done yet. I still want to fall in love a few more times. I’m really looking forward to this summer for that reason. We must not be together this summer. He isn’t any fun when he gets so sad like that. Sometimes I think we’ll always be together, but then I remember how young I am and how many things I want to do yet, and I become skeptical.

The days are much longer, now, and the sun has woken me up before my alarm three times in the past week. That’s more days than we saw the sun all winter. I can come home for supper and get back for rehearsal before it gets dark. And sometimes you can hear birds. It’s weird. I missed this part of last year. I was so alive there in Guaitil (Costa Rica). It’s hard for me to feel joy. I feel sometimes better and sometimes worse, but as far as exploding with joy–I don’t, much. I’m always worried—about grades, about K, about the plays we’re producing, about money, about N (my roommate), about the plays I am trying to write, about my family finding out about me, about getting pregnant, about my bike breaking down, about getting sick, about my caffeine consumption, about my alcohol consumption, about not writing letters… I have so much stress.  And rehearsal is at 6:30 and I still have to prepare a cue script.

Flock / After the Mennonite Writing Conference

I graduated from Lancaster Mennonite High School many moons ago, so I must have passed my Mennonite History class. Did they not explain the difference between “ethnic” Mennonites (think Canada and the western portion of the USA) and “religious” Mennonites (of the pious Pennsylvania variety)? Or did I not get the memo? Most likely, even the teacher didn’t get it. I get it now.

I thought I had no flock, but I do have a flock. Imagine my surprise.  And I am not even the strangest bird in it.

The best part of all, was seeing a picture of myself reflected back by those around me, that looks like my own image of me. The other 361 days of the year, I am a WIC certifier with a weird pastime: scribbling in notebooks. But this last weekend, for 4 consecutive days, I got to be a writer with a day-job.  This, of course, is what I’ve secretly believed all along.  I just didn’t know anyone else was convinced.

It’s almost enough to make a girl start humming 606.

Open Book Test: March (9 years ago), 2006

When: March (9 years ago), 2006
Where: Costa Rica
What: This is the Monday after the weekend when my husband (P)’s son (A) moves from Italy, with his dog, to live with us for a few years.   (P)’s young daughter (K) spends the weekend with us.  The kitchen is in the middle of a remodel.
Age:  35

A got here around 4:30 on Friday afternoon. The dog isn’t that big after all. I haven’t been still, or been alone, even to take a shower, since sometime on Friday morning–and it’s Sunday. A is a beautiful boy. When I was 19, boys didn’t look so much like puppies, but now they do.

Friday night we all went out for dinner. K has been acting out a lot. Of course dad and brother think it’s funny and cute. It is cute that she’s so happy, but she shows it by insisting on having all the attention all the time. And on this occasion, I can’t exactly tell her to settle down or calm down.

Yesterday, we went on this big fishing boat for some little kid’s birthday party. It was fun, but I have been eating entirely too much again. I feel heavy. Last night we made dinner at home, and went to bed. The kitchen is usable, but, with the new floor, the kitchen sink is just about the right height to pee in.

Friday night I slept ok with K in our bed, but last night I didn’t. That child is a nightmare to sleep beside, and I am sorry, but, it is NO LONGER NECESSARY that she sleep in our bed. She’s 7, not 3, and she is perfectly secure enough and capable of sleeping in a bed like a normal child. OF COURSE she’s going to throw a fit. But that’s no reason for even the adults to behave unreasonably. I am about ready to take this into my own hands. If I have to go sleep in her room to get any rest, she is going to sleep in there with me, and that’s the end of it. And P and I can have a fight about it if that’s what it takes, because I will win because I am right.


Si es verdad
que en el cuerpo
cada célula se repone
en el trascurso de
siete años,
eres, entonces
un hombre nuevo–
y yo soy una mujer
diferente de
la que conociste
al atardecer
con el viento que soplaba
al mar.
Nuestros cuerpos,
hasta las células
donde viven las memorias
más secretas,
nunca se han conocido
el uno sin
el otro.