Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 11 - It was not an emotion I knew by heart

How does that saying go?  A day late and a dollar short?  Well, I'm back with yesterday's prompt.  I spent a wonderful afternoon yesterday in St. Helena working on the Napa Valley Writer's Conference.  I'm going to be helping out the staff this summer and am really excited to learn the ropes.  What I've learned as of late is that I was a bit ambitious thinking there would be time to write a poem a day all through July. So, I'm switching this poem a day project a day up a bit and will only be posting periodically throughout the rest of the month. 

Also as a last side note, my essay, "Haven" is up on the Whistling Fire web site today.  This is an essay about when I was hit by a car in New York and teaching writing at Goldwater Hospital.  Hope you enjoy it.

I find today's/yesterday's prompt fascinating.  So much of what I have written so far this month has been about trauma.  I thought today I'd shift to talk about the power and strength one gains from a job well done.  Apple harvest back in the late 1890s was a slow, intense process.  For today, I tried to think about what it would have been like to bring that first harvest into town and sell it to market.  To watch it taken away by train toward Petaluma and to return to an empty orchard.

It Was Not An Emotion I Knew By Heart

For weeks we had picked and stacked and boxed the fruit.

The thick sweet smell of ripe fruit followed me everywhere.

Yellow jackets swarmed the fallen fruit.

Days swelled thick and bloated until they blurred one into the next.

Then, the lightening came.

The way the wagon's wood base rose without the weight it had carried once the apples were sold.

The way my body unwound over miles, and  finally settled

The way sleep spilled deliously over the dark night like a dark, overpowering joy.

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