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  • Elaine Fletcher Chapman

Tuesday: The Second Day

Everyone mentions the first day, but what about the second day? What happened on the second day? This morning it is seriously cold, a spring cold and damp. I’ve stopped taking the dog to the field. We packed some boxes this morning in our prepartion for the move in June. This morning I thought to organize my poetry books and to write on each box the alphabet contained within. I’m resistant. I’m irritated and sad. It feels like the second day. I’m not sure what to do next: sort out the winter clothes, pack my great grandmother’s bone china, pack linens we don’t use, pictures and snapshots. My husband began yesterday with his camera collection. I hear him now shredding papers. Everyone says look for the lessons, let go, trust, discover the undiscoverable. Okay. I can do that for a few minutes then I’m thinking again. It is very stange to move to a place you never imagined yourself living, not of your choosing. I search for the positives: perhaps more time to read and write, perhaps seeing my younger brothers more often, being closer to the airport and a bookstore. But my small office where I see clients, gone. I have yet to find another space and it looks grim. Everyone says it will evolve. And then I stop and think about the 200 missing school girls in Nigeria, the murdered boys. I think about the tornados in the south over the last two days. The second day for some. Get a grip I tell myself. You have first world problems. That helps for a few minutes but then I go back to thinking about how I have poems organized on the table beside my desk for the new volume. Need to pack them away in a day or so. Another delay. My daughter says keep writing no matter what. Don’t stop. Pack and write. Say goodbys and write. Feel sad and write. Do your meditation, she says. I burn the new Dragon Blood Incense. It smeels sweeter than the Rose Morning Star. I need sweetness. Dragon Blood sounds right for the Second Day. I payed the buisness property tax this morning and wrote on the statement buisness closing May 31. Buisness closing and still writing. Not the first day, not eight days later, not the third day or the forth, but the second. In grief and disbelief. Dismanteling, not rebuilding. Can I write through it? I want to write you instead of I. Could you keep writing? On Saturday we read Seamus Heaney aloud. He talks about walking on air and glory. Okay. I’m listening. He says Rain comes down through the alders… feeling every wind that blows. Tenderhearted, this second day. Keep writing.

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