by: Claudia Ricci
She asked me to open the blue box and let the monarch butterfly go free.
I told her I would do that, gladly.
She asked me how it is that I write poetry so often.
I told her that I breathe and let the words billow up like autumn leaves and then I just lay them casually on paper.
She asked me to show her how to do it.
How to breathe? I asked.
No, how to get the words to billow up.
Oh that part.
So I told her to start each day with a few yoga poses. Start each day watering flowers and green plants. Spend time being grateful for seeing, hearing, touching, smiling. Say prayers for those you love. Lift your eyes skyward and thank God for the gift of life.
But above all, I said, go outdoors with a silver cup and meditate.
Yes and then? She asked. How long am I supposed to wait?
You must be the one to decide that, I said. But it doesn’t help to be impatient.
What I didn’t tell her is that I go outside every day and sometimes a shower of golden words fills the cup.
And sometimes the cup remains bone dry. On those days, I breathe slowly, and watch myself feeling scared of being empty.
It passes, and then the words come, and they run on and on and on.
I just opened the blue box, and immediately the orange and black monarch rose up in flight.
And then I sat down to write this poem.
Claudia Ricci, Ph.D., was a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and a prize-winning reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, where one of her projects was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Her novels include:
- Dreaming Maples, published in 2002, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize
- Seeing Red, January 2011
- Sister Mysteries, July 2018
Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines nationwide.
Ricci spent 15 years teaching English and journalism at the University at Albany and was a visiting professor for one year at Georgetown University.
To order her novels, visit her website at www.http://claudiajricci.com.
Two Drops of Ink posts: