|"Imperial" by Evonne|
by Maxine W. Kumin
Nobody holds your hand up there.Read the rest HERE.
You sit alone in your moving chair
It's not as smooth as an elevator.
It's scarier than an escalator.
Under your feet, the snowy humps
Of hills go by with jerks and bumps
And the only sound in the world is the clack
Of the chair lift clanking along its track.
From OPENING DAYS: SPORTS POEMS, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins (Harcourt Brace & Company, 1996).
The metaphoric chair lift has been clickety-clackety-clanking for many months now. My anxiety has been climbing as well. Now that we've reached the summit, I try to take in the grandeur and possibility of 2017, but I'm distracted by the daunting slope.
I've never been much of a skier. My introduction to downhill skiing was a weekend trip with a group of teenagers, mostly older than myself, all of whom already knew how to ski. The first morning was great—beautiful weather, I had a newbie lesson and mastered the bunny slope. But the afternoon brought sleet and an intermediate run that was well beyond what this bunny could handle. What I remember most was the trail of blue dye that followed me down the mountainside, sliding down on my bottom in brand new jeans. It would have been embarrassing had I not been paralyzed by fear. And yes, I probably could have taken my skis off and walked, but that would have been far too sensible. The second day I feigned illness and had the house all to myself. Far more sensible.
So here we are. As much as I might like to stay home and ignore the challenges ahead, it's not an option. I'm not sure what's on the horizon—politically, creatively, personally. I've got two teens of my own navigating the landscape. Whatever the future holds, it feels big and new and definitely scarier than an escalator.
My head is telling me to hold on.
My heart is urging me to let go.
But first it means heading back to the bunny slope for a refresher course. It means building up my core and balance, and trusting that the chaos I'm feeling right now is exactly where I need to be. To open myself up for something beautiful and extraordinary, though I'm not sure what and when and how. At first I thought my "one little word" for 2017 would be self-love. But then I realized it's not. It's change. Self-love is the means to embrace that change. I've got a new pair of jeans packed and ready for the trip. If you see a trail of blue, make sure to wave.
|Photo: Andre Charland|
a Children's Book Council "Hot Off the Press” selection for January 2017! I'm honored have my poem "Look for the Helpers" included in HERE WE GO. Next week I'll have an in-depth look and a power-packed giveaway.
After that, we'll return to our regularly scheduled programming. So sharpen your pencils, poets—the Ditty of the Month Club will be back on February 3rd! In the meantime, please visit Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids. She's done a wonderful write-up of The Best of Today's Little Ditty, including three poems from the anthology. Thank you, Laura!
Violet Nesdoly for hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup with a post that is perfect for today.