Madlynn Haber lives in Hampshire County. Her work appears in the anthology Letters to Fathers from Daughters, Anchor Magazine, Exit 13 Magazine and on websites including: The Voices Project, The Jewish Writing Project, Quail Bell, Mused Literary Review, Hevria, Right Hand Pointing, Mothers Always Write and Random Sample. www.madlynnwrites.com
Relating seems to be the theme of this weird time. This may be the time to put snippets of poems between the petals of newly emerging spring flowers or under the rocks and leaves that will soon be cleaned out of garden plots. Pinning poems to tree trunks and telephone poles might be part of the remedy. In the meantime, we watch a powdery end of winter snow fall just as it usually does between chilly nights and warm afternoons. Oblivious to the news, days grow longer, the dog’s thick coat sheds, the morning fills with the calls of returning birds.
I spend hours relating to all my people who call to check in. My heart catalogues its connections. Checking off who’s where, old friends, new friends, family near and far. Old lovers I might never have heard from again, now send flirty messages. There is a need to hold on in spite of the warnings to maintain distance. In the absence of touching, the heart swells.
Relating as if we are all in one boat now. Is it one sinking ship or one life boat? Is there room enough for all? Is there room enough for all the laughter my most sarcastic and cynical friends project into the abyss of this absurdity? Is there room enough for all the anger? For all the “I told you so’s” and “Why doesn’t everyone just listen to me’s”. The rising voices fill the galaxy with questions, commentary and the endless pursuit of understanding and control. Some can’t stop talking. A whirling dervish of words pounds against the horizon trying endlessly to figure things out. In silent corners, there is fear and terror. There is mourning over mass graves that we have all seen before, that we remember in our ancestral bones.
Blanketed in the springtime snow, quilted and napping in the afternoon, we all need a break. Like the spaces between the words of a poem, we listen to the quiet between the melting drops falling from roof to ground. We hold ourselves, we take a step back, we keep our distance and our hearts relate.