I've been on "retreat" in a hospital three hours from my home for the past week and a half. I got home an hour ago, feeling like a new person, or the old me, both of them good.
One of the questions asked of me last week was: What is your most cherished possession and why?
My answer was: My laptop. It contains my manuscripts and everything I need to stay connected with a bunch of good people.
We didn't have access to computers or cell phones. I missed my people, and I'm going to browse some blogs and check in with a few of you.
We did have a lot of meetings, but if I never again hear someone call out "Time for group!" I will not be sorry. The time was good and well-spent, but am I ever glad to be home.
Today's picture is by Matisse. A print of it has hung on my wall at home for decades. I love the vibrant magenta and gold, and the woman arranging some kind of order on her crazy table. Joe, my husband, has worked hard to keep our home in order while I was away. He even dusted the knickknack shelf for me. The kittens have grown six inches at least, and the dogs are acting like wild things in their efforts to shake their tails off their hind ends.
I wrote no poems while away, so there's nothing new to share. But I'm posting here what might be my favorite poem:
How an Egret Saved Me
I lay prostrate on the couch & worried & worried
The newspaper scattered like leaves around my bier
The syllables of war trip over the tongue like poetry
Afghaniraq darfuristan & the birds are fluttering
Into extinction In the latter days the seas arise
My aunt says God is coming soon but where is he
Where is his sign I’ve lost you to the television
& the latest tennis match among the titans
Worried & worried until I saw the water’s reflection
On the wall there A dancing curvature of light
& through the glass I saw the egret winging past
The long white neck folded & long dark legs folded
Trimly as a package born aloft on broad white wings
A love letter airmailed from a distant God
Chris Alba (c) 2009