writing this poem, I stare at the ceiling remembering how I used to watch movies on a blank wall, sometimes with a projector, and sometimes just staring at nothing but white. White sang and rippled into color, color meshed into patterns, creating people who often danced and sang. No one else could see those private movies. Now when I stare at the ceiling, because the wall here is blood red instead of white, I see a tea-with-oranges yellow from the lamp and speckled-horse blue from the cloudy sky seeping in the window to meet the yellow. The colors kiss near the shadows of books piled nearly to collapse above the lamp. Instead of writing this poem, I lie back in my swivel chair, stare at the ceiling and remember how as a child in bed at night, I loved to watch the pattern of car headlights sweep across the wall and ceiling, the rectangular window shapes gifted with flight.
Instead of doing my exercises and getting on with my day, I am pretending to write a poem. A prose poem, with spruces, oaks and elms full of water droplets and mourning doves. Raindrops stipple puddles full of sky almost as white as the ceiling. Full of the reflections of wings. Sparrows fall slanting across the window from the cedars to the feeder looking like sudden heavy snow, looking for food on the empty feeder. Instead of filling the feeder, I watch my fingers poke at the chiclet keys with their little letters, bing bing bing bing. Instead of getting dressed and making breakfast, I sit in my nightgown with my bare feet on the chair legs, shivering and shrinking from the cold of this rainy April morning and watch as one by one, the little black squiggles of letters fill up the white page.
Mary Stebbins Taitt
NaPoWriMo prompt from ReadWritePoem #15 for 4-15-09: "Instead of"
This is a first draft. If I revise it, I will post the revision above this version. so the newest version will always be on top.
The photo of the Chickadee is from Kensington Metropark on Good Friday. We rarely have chickadees at our feeder.
I've done several others poems from NaPoWriMo prompts but haven't had time to post them.