Poem alert, y’all. (Just a warning in case you either like or avoid such writings.)
A local poetry group was meeting this Sunday at a library near me and I decided on a whim to join them. I think the last time I wrote any poems was a decade ago. As a result I was nervous, but the group was enjoyable and supportive. The guy sitting next to me turned out to be a single dad and he said he identified with what I wrote. (I *sort of* wish I had the opportunity to talk to him more. Maybe I could have, if I was a little bolder…. aaaannnd a little more certain of what I want.)
P.S. This is good, this ‘getting out’ concept. Also, this is what I wrote (thank you poetry group for the improvement suggestions and the title):
We Alternate Weekends
Yesterday I found myself unexpectedly free
in the middest part of the mid-afternoon.
I turned in my work badge and started the drive home
and because it was something I needed to do, really,
I pulled into the manicured park with the meandering path,
got out of my car,
and began to jog.
I didn’t want to be out there,
but the only way to begin to want it
is to start.
That evening I met some ladies at a restaurant
for a Mom’s Night Out.
I didn’t have the toddler this weekend
so it made sense to go.
I didn’t want to;
they were strangers, mostly.
Spending the money was hard to justify,
and the couch was calling me.
But I went
and laughed with some new people
about kids and co-sleeping,
working and single-parenting.
This morning I woke up late
(by which I mean 8am,
which is like saying you slept in all morning
when you’re a parent,
though this morning I was not a parent)
and that was strange in itself.
I put on my tennies and went out to the trails
harder and harder up a hill of bleached grass and weeds.
On the ridgeline I started running,
like an airplane at the start of the runway
before it picks up speed.
The sky was a low, grey ceiling
and the hills fanned away in all directions.
I wanted to scatter over all the possible routes,
to shake off this persistent restlessness.
Instead I slowed back to a walk
as the trail passed a small clump of sagebrush.
The sky spat rain.
I zipped my fleece jacket
and my feet fell
one after another on the sandy path.
After a lifetime of watching my feet land in front of me
this is what I do,
this physical moving forward.
I didn’t want this for myself,
but (the single parents out there know)
the only way to begin to want it
is to start.