Day 4: Sort of a Momentous Day

This morning — around 10:00 — I went to Staples and printed out my novel manuscript. I meant to take it home and give it to my beloved (he’s my final proofreader), but instead I went to Barnes & Noble and started reading. I have been reading all day! It’s good, I think it’s good. But I also finally — FINALLY — figured out my character Hannah and how she contrasts (and doesn’t merely mirror) the main character. So I had lots of little changes. And I’m almost all the way through. I’m so happy!

Luckily (in terms of my poetry goals), early this morning I spent some time with day 4’s NaPoWriMo assignment from POETRY IS EVERYTHING. I haven’t returned to it to try to make it better, and as it is almost 9 p.m. and I’m exhausted, I’m just going to post it, as is.  Shitty first draft.

I hope that you’re writing, too. Even just scribbling. It’s all good.

PROMPT for April 4th 2014: Bus Stop

Think about a bus stop. You might write about the place, or make observations about people at the Bus Stop. Does it have a specific meaning you might want to try and convey? Can you imagine a Bus Stop experience (realistic or not) that would inspire a poem? Write it.

For another prompt or challenge be sure to check out Maureen Thorsen’s NaPoWriMo site where you’ll find prompts, challenges, comments, and information on all things NaPoWriMo.

Riding the Bus

An early bottle (4 a.m.), then an hour
on the dissertation. Mornings
I left the house in the dark
before my babies woke,
drove to the bus stop and stood in line
with the other commuters. Mounted the steps,
found a seat. I liked to sit by a window,
lean my head against it, close
my eyes. I smelled of milk,
of the ammonia of the diaper pail.

At 11:30, my class taught, office hour kept, an hour (more)
of writing, I was on the bus again,
reading tomorrow’s lesson and student papers.
At the bus stop, my husband waited, babies
buckled into the back seat
of the station wagon. He took my car
and left for his teaching job. I drove our daughters home,
unbuckled, unzipped. Diapers changed,
lunch doled out, naptime beckoning.

Housework beckoned, too. Kitchen to clean,
laundry (always diapers). I could have spent
those two hours of slumber
grading papers, or writing—
the unbiddable mountain of pages calling.

It was not unlike waiting in line at the bus stop–
what does one do but what the others do?
Inspired by the closed eyes of my drowsing babies,
the little fists propped against their mouths,
I folded, too. I crawled into my bed,
curled into a ball. I smelled of milk
and ammonia. I slept.

1 reply
  1. Jennifer Bullis
    Jennifer Bullis says:

    A momentous day indeed! “Riding the Bus” captures the exhaustion and possibility surrounding the care of newborns and trying to juggle other aspects of life. And you accomplished this with *twins*! Brava, and belatedly, happy birthing day.


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