And just like that, 2 hours of sitting in traffic was replaced by the type of couch that swallows you in a smooth, nerves-loosening manner, windows looking out on lush greenery, walls hung tastefully in my sister’s collection of California plein air, and an ocean breeze swooping in through the open front door, fluffing my hair, cooling skin. Twilight. The magic hour. I sipped chardonnay from a heavy glass with bas relief-ish bees on it. My sister’s friend chatted enthusiastically about Santa Barbara poets we both know and how cool it was for him to have a poem in a Snow White revisited sort of book by those local publishers who aren’t around anymore, you know, who were they, those publishers, my sister’s friend mused aloud. Well, he said, you must remember, you’re in that book, too. I blinked at him. I am? Yeah, you know, the Snow White book, he insisted. I have that book, my sister said, entering the room with a pizza that smelled like a gourmet chef just dropped it off for us. It’s a thin book, red, on the shelf. The three of us looked for it. I found it. They never told me, I said. I assumed they’d either rejected me, or never published the book. I paged through to my poem, one I haven’t thought about in 9 years. I plopped on the couch, the breeze fanning the pizza’s aroma through the artsy bungalow, and read. I felt like a local. I felt good! Huh, I said. There’s a typo.
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I don’t see a typo. Crap.
The poem is lovely, especially “… empathy, celebrated deep in a heart the size of a world.”
That’s so cool! I know the feeling of looking back and kind of squinting to make sure it’s my work, and then blushing a little because I sorta wish it wasn’t. I really like your poem, though, “posts” and repetitions and all.
Thanks, Beth. Post writing this note of thanks, I will really, really go to bed early. I hope.
As Didion says, “we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be.”
Wonderful JD quote, thanks for that! I love it. Nodding terms? Definitely.
It’s such an odd feeling to happen upon old works you haven’t thought about in ages. I always liken it to finding bits of life I thought I had completely let go and forgotten. I recently managed to log back into an ancient Fictionpress account and found a poem about laundry I once held as my favorite. Now I find it poorly written and rather dull, haha.
Chris–proof you’ve grown and improved!