By: Claudia Ricci, Ph. D.
How do you write a poem when you feel like a totally blank page?
What do you do when your emotions have been swallowed up by the wind?
You dip into the memory bin and recall a single red clover. Twice
last week while you were jogging, you saw that flower sitting
alone in a shaft of sunlight. It stopped you. It brought a smile.
And on another run, you saw that bright red and black bird.
You think it was a scarlet tanager – exciting because it’s rare for this area.
And then this morning, while you were doing your exercises beside the meadow, you saw a coyote streak after a tiny fawn just a few feet away from where you lay doing leg lifts.
At top speed the animals dashed into the thick underbrush.
You screamed, fearing for the fawn.
But a few moments later, the tiny deer emerged, unscathed. A few moments after that, a doe sauntered into the meadow, and headed in the direction where the fawn had gone.
You like to think that mother and baby were reunited quickly.
You like to think too that you can write whenever you want to.
But you can’t count on it. All you can do is sit here, staring out
the window into the forest.
All you can do is stare at the orange lilies and the red bee balm and the purple cone flower.
All you can do is write what you see and hope to be inspired by it.
At least, by writing it down, you’re creating a record.
It is something like sending a thank you note to the universe for sending life your way.
Bio: Claudia Ricci, Ph.D.
Claudia 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.claudiajricci.com
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