When Trying to Write a Novel . . .

I am held together with butterfly stitches
Pulling at the seams

Starving, striving, bone tired, ragged

I swallowed a piece of bread and grew two sizes

I awake to the skin peeling from my breasts
My dream of you interrupted by a little boy who is always whining
Ill tempered
I get cruel
I need black coffee

I need the Atlantic air
Silence

to climb into a dark cave and pull the covers high up over my eyes

To cover my eyes like it was all a dream
A most beautiful nightmare

I want my old skin back
The skin that didn’t require so much maintenance
The skin I rarely had to think about

My skin
it is getting older
It droops down my face like a sculptor ran his hands over soft clay
Thumb and forefinger
Pulling down down down, from the corners of my mouth
Gravity sculpted me angry and sullen
He pulled hard on my thighs and made my flesh dimple
He played tug of war with my breasts

He laughs

He thinks he’s funny

The sink overflows with dishes
The counter produces more paperwork to ignore
To feel guilty about, always tugging at my brain
Boxes to ship
School paperwork to fill out
Laundry that reproduces like rabbits
Exercise
Children who need to eat something, anything other than refined carbohydrates
Novels that beg to be written
Words that whisper themselves into my ear when I’m driving, or yelling
When I am always a million miles away from pen and paper
I sprint to find some
I hold it in my hand trembling and ask inwardly “Now, what was that? Please tell me what you said?”

But the bitch keeps silent

She is temperamental

I am enveloped back into the velvety folds of whining, crying, demands and more laundry
I fall backward into it

I pull the dirty covers up over my eyes

6 thoughts on “When Trying to Write a Novel . . .

  1. Annie,

    I so admire your honesty…and you rightly grieve the lost pieces of who you were before it all happened…

    People will say that we can wear the changes as badges of honor…but they are missing the gut wrenching challenges of raising our children in the midst of it…it taxes every ounce of energy, creativity, and saneness out of you and it is good for that to be acknowledged…

    Love your writing…it’s gutsy…go ahead, pull that blanket back up over your head…
    cindy

  2. Annie- sorry but shades of Sylvia Plath-calm down-you are great! Your poetry is wisdom!! I love it! As I’m reading your blog and weeping uncontrollably, I receive a text from my oldest grand, Elsie-asking me if she chooses to perform in her band concert over Girlscout event, will I go ? ( this written from her choir practice at UUCC rehearsal for this weekend May Day Music festival…just you Wait Annie Higgins-Just You Wait! Your grands will do you in-be patient and kind to yourself…yea-the dirty dishes will wait-get a maid- go with those creative juices!! Let it rip and whorl and let us all enjoy the end result-but you too-basque in the glory!

    • Kathie, than you so much. I’m flattered and so happy you enjoy my writing. Hope to see you somewhere soon. Much love and enjoy those grands.

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