Last week, I joined a free write session on Zoom (where else, these days, right?). With a couple of dozen others, scattered around the country, I took time on a Sunday afternoon to meditate (easier than doing it alone, I find) and to read a poem, then write a reaction to it. It’s amazing to me how much deep writing comes from these sessions. We shared with each other in small groups and created short poems merging a few lines from each of us into one piece of work. It was a fun exercise that I’d recommend, whether or not you consider yourself ‘a writer.’
The poem was “section eight” by George T. Wilkerson. It begins:
I come from the broken
playground littered with dented Coke cans….
Here’s what I came up with:
I come from blue chicory and Queen Anne’s lace by the roadside
in the cracks of broken sidewalks
I come from Kelly’s Lumberyard and the smell of fresh cut two by fours
I come from Red Light and Giant Steps, jacks and hopscotch
I do not come from parks
but rather quiet sunny streets and slow-moving cars.
I come from potato chips and Coke, from kielbasa and beer and ketchup.
I come from margarine colored yellow by pounding the red dot on the cellophane bag on the kitchen table.
What struck me most about this exercise is how I stayed with summer memories. If I wrote this in winter, I might have “come from” other things. Any of these lines could be the start of a story. What about you? What do you come from? Jot a few lines in the comments, I can’t wait to read them!
And enjoy the rest of this fleeting season we wait for all year long.
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