I’m obviously feeling much more maudlin than I realized. I can see the genesis of this: it has been seven days since I left my daughters on the East Coast to come back from Bakersfield, so that is a part of it. I’m also participating in a Periscope Challenge that includes a lot of young Mom Bloggers and I’m feeling slightly out of place and worried they’ll find my work and my videos irrelevant. Who wants to be found irrelevant? Not me… so that leaked out and onto this poem.
I apologize in advance and maybe, just maybe, there is something in these words for you. Thank you always to Tess and the community at Magpie Tales, which is where this remarkable visual prompt came to bring my poem to life.
Bright shiny new wooden gate
straddles the old, the used up, the
what once was --
I listen to young moms and think
am I the what once was Mom now?
I don’t feel like it but is that what
the bright shiny Mommies think?
I wonder – not for any important reason other than
I contemplate whether I still a poet now or is that done too?
am I capable of giving advice, telling birth stories
I can still sort of ride a skateboard
I can ride a bicycle like I did, probably not without hands
and I could with practice. I could, yes I could.
I can’t write. This is apparent and evidenced by
this weak excuse for a something but is obviously
not an anything.
This poem is substandard.
I wonder – if I’m all done up if I’m ready to be taken
to the dump or simply left there, a reminder of
What was once
when my children were
little. In diapers. In preschool. Singing in holiday programs.
waving at me as I sat proudly in the audience instead of
graduating from high school and college and working
jobs and now
on to the rest of their lives –
while I sit here
bumpy and pock parked, stitched back together
I’m scarred with tired feet and knees and
concerned, somehow with my mind’s
ever present others assessing me
as leftovers or used up when actually I’ve barely
scratched the surface of the first course
I’m not the gate waiting for removal,
the metaphor of what once was is now done
I’m the what once was is not the
Making myself into a bookshelf or a
merry go-round or a planter or who
knows what specifically
I just know it – and I –
am going to be just fine….
Julie Jordan Scott inspires people to experience artistic rebirth via her programs, playshops, books, performances and simply being herself out in the world. She is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people's creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in September 2015 and beyond.
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