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  • Elaine Fletcher Chapman

The First Day

It is the first day. The first day I am writing from my new study. This time on the first floor facing a busy road. No church steeple within view. Boxes of books still unpacked. And the shelves already full. Poetry to my right, commentary to my left. The simple alter as I walk in the door. I have landed on the west side of the bay. No creek at the end of the street but a reservoir to my back. Water blocked by a high fence. No entry. Yesterday through the brush I saw an egret and then a small rabbit in the backyard. I’m awaiting autumn so our view clears. Our field for the dog, an enclosed baseball field a few miles away. Since I was away for several weeks after the move, my husband takes the dog and stops for his divine coffee before returning home. It is a new way. An uncharted way. He simply walks next door to his office.

I open the book of poems, Door, by Mary Kane, my friend Miraim gave me when I visited her overnight last week in Plymouth. “I only have to change / utterly to enter.” I’m searching for the familiar, but find little I know. And the dog keeps bringing me objects: crushed plastic bottles, half-chewed bones, stuffed toys. We sigh deeply. New place, new routine. The first day at my desk in my new study on the West side of the bay, attemting to gather myself and a grouping of poems I will read next week in New York.

#Marykane

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