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I feel like a lot of my preambles this year start with “So, this happened”. But this is my process, so, this happened: Tonight HP and I picked up the Ds at our dear friends Oliver and Kelly’s house. Driving in, I saw Oliver raking and playing with the girls in a huge pile of leaves, and I assumed HP saw them too. But he was focused on driving, and when we pulled up and parked, Oliver had covered the three girls up so that the pile of leaves just looked like a pile of leaves. I got out of the car and played along, like “Oliver, I thought you were picking up the girls today! Where on earth could they be????”, all sing-songy. But HP had NOT seen them playing and took a flying jump off the ground with both sized-thirteen feet into the “pile of leaves”, and fully and with gusto, jumped into the pile of leaves. O and I shrieked and grabbed at the girlies, but it was too late. Miraculously, all three were just fine. Just fine and giggling. It was the best outcome to that scenario I could imagine. Also, afterwards, quite funny.

I have lots of poem shards tonight. My family and their wholeness, that’s a thing. It’s my Grandmas’ birthday, and she is a rockstar, that’s another thing. I will probably poem that tomorrow. She’s the truest believer I know. I felt like an okay teacher today, that’s another shard. In one of my classes a tall young man stretched and knocked a picture off the wall and the glass in the frame burst everywhere, and then he vacuumed it up. Literal shards.

But for some reason, the thing pulling me in a poemish direction today is my teacher and friend, Barbara, who sent me a book this week. It is called “What We See When We Read“, and it is beautiful and life-altering. Really. I would never use those two words together and hitch ’em up with a hyphen if I didn’t mean it. I’ve said it before, but I feel that the best poems I write are the ones for people, and I really can’t imagine my life as it is now without my teacher Barbara. When I say or write the word teacher, I really mean guru, or sage, or mentor, or “I can’t believe how undeniably cool you are, so I’m going to name a daughter after you and your harp”.

Here is a quote from the book she sent me:”Of course, we also cherish the notion that books hold secrets; that books are reticent. (As I’ve mentioned: books safeguard mysteries}. Let me be serious. You need to get this book.

Let me get to it, then.

For a Harpist and Teacher

Thank you for the gift of talking to adolescence with acknowledgement of soul, thank you for being open like a note, thank you for your teaching, and thank you for calling me friend now, once the wild youth is survived, for the most part. Doubtless you don’t know what you’ve imparted, no doubt you doubt yourself daily. Please don’t. Your cause is noble, and it works, what you do. There’s a magic to it. Sometimes a legerdemain or two, but the notes I took from you came before the harp, and that was tricky business, my teacher, my friend.


Happy Thursday, Poemfriends. I’m on staycation now! And as much as I despise the word, I have never been more grateful for it.