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On Writing: Poems

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~Bless Her Heart~

These two poems are probably posted elsewhere on my blog, but I’m inspired to re-post them today by another writer who asks on WordPress if we write in cafés. Her post got 412 responses — to which I attribute the loneliness of the long-distance writer.

While the second poem here is my signature poem, published in so many places I’ve lost track, I’m posting the more relevant one first.  

I Write In Cafes (For Tillie Olsen)

They ended, those years:
trudging bags of groceries through the snow
mounds of laundry from car to front door,
boots & mittens & sleds & longjohns.

They ended.

Now I write in cafes.
With a pack on my back
I meander through streets,
find a friendly table
and write.

There’s no snow in San Francisco
and laundry day comes once a month.
I haven’t made a salad in weeks.
My days are filled with writing.

But which is the better poem, Tillie?
Which is the better poem?

I write in the Laundromat

I write in the laundromat.
I am a woman
and between wash & dry cycles
I write.

I write while the beans soak
and with children’s voices
in my ear. I spell out words
for scrabble while I am writing.

I write as I drive to the office
where I type a man’s letters
and when he goes to lunch
I write.

When the kids go out the door
on Saturday I write
and while the frozen dinners thaw
I write.

I write on the toilet
and in the bathtub
and when I appear
to be talking
I am often writing.

I write in the laundromat
while the kids soak
with scrabbled ears
and beans in the office
and frozen toilets
and in the car
between wash & dry.

And your words
and my words
and her words
and their words
and I am a woman
and I write in the laundromat.

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2 responses »

  1. Thanks so much for mentioning my post, Marcy! You’re right – the question of whether or not you can write in a coffee shop really seemed to resonate with people. I really enjoyed your poems. In particular, I liked this line in your first poem, ‘I Write in Cafes’: “I meander through streets, | find a friendly table | and write.” A friendly table sounds so inviting!

    Thanks again for your pingback, and have a great day!

    I hate to get into an endless circular thank you note, but thanks for thanking me! You’re now part of my mutual admiration society, as I have with many writers on WordPress.–MS

  2. Gorgeous poem. Hey, thanks for leaving a comment over at mine, so nice to see that you’re still blogging, too.

    Another wonderful writer in my WP Mutual Admiration Society! Glad to make contact!–MS

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