National Poetry Month begins today and with it, my commitment to write a poem each day of this month. It’s been a while since I’ve even contemplated any kind of commitment to poetry and only tend to write it as the mood strikes. The last time I set aside time daily for poetry was my last year of high school, during which I composed a poem every day for six consecutive months. The notebook that contains those poems still sits on my bookshelf as a reminder that I too am capable of seeing a project to fruition. It’s a much needed reminder for a person who is far better at starting projects than finishing them.
I wrote the first of the month’s poems as I sat at my kitchen table tonight, keeping a watchful eye on dinner as it cooked. The smell of roasting chicken reminded me of another meal, months ago, with someone who has since been lost to the world. Recalling the simple joy of sharing a meal, I penned a short piece about unraveling the threads that bound me to that person. It is not a publication worthy piece, but it is is both a beginning and an end, forty words of grief to mark a new beginning.
If my last post was subtitled “I Ain’t Dead Yet”, it should follow that this post needs to be subtitled “Mostly Dead”. An obscene amount of time has elapsed since I last posted here… again. Months should not be allowed to elapse without a thought to one’s blog and yet, here I staring at a gap of more than a year.
I have spent much of that gap not feeling well enough to put pen to paper. Three days after my last post, life handed me an orchard’s worth of lemons with a cancer diagnosis. To entertain myself and give myself a distraction from the bumper citrus crop that was 2015, I started creating an ill health version of the 12 Days of Christmas… 12 nurses nursing, 11 IVs dripping, 10 docs a treating, 9 CATs scanning , 8 techs a drawing, 7 labs a testing, 6 MRIs a humming, 5 bed-rest months, 4 surgeries, 3 ultrasounds, 2 skin grafts, and a penicillin allergy. It’s not the best thing I penned in 2015 but it is the truest of the stories told that year.
Fortunately, 2016 has been kinder and I find myself once again well enough to write on a regular basis. April’s personal writing challenge will be to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. My goal: to write 1,000 words of poetry in 30 days. As if that weren’t motivation enough, I am also taking on the 30 poems in 30 days challenge of NaPoWriMo. No doubt about it – there will be poetry in April. With any luck, there will also be some blog posts here as well.