On Friday night, I packed into the sanctuary of my church in Nashville with about 700 other women to listen to author/blogger Ann Voskamp speak. Well, that was what I thought she would be doing. Before she came on stage my friend sitting in front of me turned around and said this was going to be a spiritual spa experience. What? I thought. And, sign me up! I like the spa. A couple of seconds into Ann’s talk, I got what my friend had said.
Ann did not preach, she did not give a lesson. She did not have any bullet points, fill-in-the-blanks, even any “turn to chapter ___ and verse __ of ___”s. Ann read almost every word of her…what shall I call it…art. She read us poetry. For half an hour. Slowly and rhythmically. Something about that poetry lulled me into a fascination with her words and the way they sounded, all together. It was weighty and light. I had not sat and listened to poetry in so long. It’s not really something we do here on the weekends, is it? I wish it were.
So, inspired by Ann, I have written a poem. Warning: It doesn’t rhyme. The one time I tried to write a rhyming poem, my classmates in poetry workshop in college ripped it to shreds. So I will not be attempting that here. This is a poem to me and people like me: the confused ones trying to soak it all in as it goes flying by.
A poem for the twenty something
On my trampoline at age seven, in a winter coat unnecessary for the moderate January of South Texas
I lay alone and thought, as I watched clouds, that time moved quite quickly,
too quickly for my liking
The clouds I proudly identified in my head as “cumulus” were, I noticed for the first time, moving
and quite quickly, too
Where is there for clouds to go?
Don’t they know that right here, above me on the trampoline, and our two giant trees,
this is the best place for them to be?
I knew the earth was round
I knew the earth was big
They would come back, I supposed
They would have to, right?
The earth would carry them back to me
But that could take a while, and I could not wait
My over-zealous coat and I were being called to dinner,
and the moon was being called to rise