Last day as a vessel

Tomorrow morning we will go in dawn’s early light to bring this new child into the world. Thus will bring to a close one period of turbulence, and thus begin another. I’m keyed up and not doing a very good job of resting on this last day of my last pregnancy.

I haven’t written much this poetry month, but I haven’t been not writing. I wrote one poem this NaPoWriMo, at a rate of one line a day for a while, until the poem was finished, which brings to a total of poems written this year: 3. Not a grand sum, but more than I wrote all last year, so progress at least.

And the Mass Poetry Festival was a wonderful last hurrah! The incomparable January O’Neil did a tremendous job organizing this awesome event. I’m already looking forward to next year.

Best to you, friends — when I return, I’ll have the results of the Big Poetry Giveaway and perhaps a baby picture or two…

This Weekend: the Mass Poetry Festival!

Yes, indeed, at T – 10 days, you can find me this weekend in Salem for the Mass Poetry Festival. I’m reading on Saturday with other THE MOM EGG contributors, and then again on Sunday with contributors from Salamander. Plus I’ll be staffing the Tupelo Press table with my pal, Rose, on Saturday at the Small Press and Literary Magazine Fair.

I’m excited to be there for the weekend this year — my husband’s raised eyebrows notwithstanding — and hope to see some of you about!

In the meantime, don’t forget that the Big Poetry Giveaway is going on for National Poetry Month. Check out the full list of participating blogs over at Book of Kells, and enter my giveaway here.

“In these empty gray hours…”

…I felt the first shreds of separation from my mother. The difference between us was manifest. I was alive; she was dead. At the same time, all boundaries between us seemed to disappear. The presence of death opened a kind of wormhole in which my experience was indistinguishable from hers, and this moment was merged with the moment, forty-three years before, when my mother learned of her own mother’s death. That death was sudden and unexpected, an ocean away. I knew this morning, with a force that almost knocked me backward, how alone my mother must have felt when she got the news. She had no mother to show her child to. No mother to make me — or herself as mother — real. I understood that, all those years when I longed for her to let me go, she had been hanging on in order to protect me from feeling this alone.

— from “Rules,” by Maria Meindl, included in At the End of Life: True Stories About How We Die, edited by Lee Gutkind