by Liz Flaherty
Occasionally, it is fun to "jump the shark," to write something different. It's not done with the intent to change genres, merely to bump yourself awake. I have had a busy few weeks (and they ain't over yet) and haven't kept up on new blog posts. I apologize for this. However, I've made good use of things written for writers' group meetings.
Let me urge you once again to join one if you haven't. I am the only romance writer in mine, but it is still a growing, learning, laughing time--for all of us, I think, not just for me.
A few months ago, on the morning of a meeting, I had--just like I do today--nothing to share, so I wrote this. I'm not sure it qualifies as a poem, but it was fun to write. It's not really true, either. Except for little pieces I pulled from the back of my heart.
Enjoy, and tell us about when you jump the writing shark.
It was a beautiful day, but I could not lie still in the green, green grass.
At work I couldn’t focus on the IBM Selectric and kept typing long, tidy rows of z’s.
I burned the corn even as the potatoes stayed hard in the middle. I scorched an iron-shaped mark into the back of my favorite blouse.
Because he’d said, you know, we have to talk.
No, we don’t, I thought but didn’t say.
Things are fine as they are.
I have my apartment, you have your room at your mother’s and we see each other when we want to.
We don’t have to talk.
I don’t want to get married.
No, I do, but not now. Not when things are fine as they are.
We eat. He chews manfully on the potatoes. Leave the dishes, he says—this is the 1960s—he doesn’t offer to help with them. Let’s go out on the hill.
Oh, but I—okay.
The hill behind the house is lush with springtime. We lie in the grass and he says it again. We have to talk.
I prepare my answer in my mind...not now...not yet...later...I really do love you, but...
I got my draft notice today.
The words are stark and cold, bouncing off the grass and making spots before my eyes.
I leave in a few weeks. It’ll be Vietnam. Everyone’s going there now.
When this is over and I get back, maybe we can talk about our future. You think?
Then? That’s forever. Why don’t we talk about it now?
No. Things are fine as they are.
Fine? How can you say they’re fine?
Because they are.
His eyes are so blue.
It is a beautiful day, but I can’t lie still in the green green grass.
As I wait.