Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Wednesday, March 3, 2010

THINKING MYSELF HOME



The drive home to SW Georgia gets longer and longer, no matter much Sugarland I sing along with on the cd player or how many goosebumps I cultivate while listening to Roderigo's Concierto de Aranjuez on the fm station. (Or Rusalka's Hymn to the Moon, after which I pledge undying devotion to Antonin Dvorak) Thus, this poem, which seems especially apropos, considering I had to head for the flatlands on Monday before the snowstorm hit.


Thinking Myself Home

I have to look up and over the trees
all the way to the mountains I see in the distance,

then hang a left soon as I get there,
thinking my way down the Blue Ridge

and into the piedmont just south
of Atlanta. From there it's a straight

shoot to home,
if I still want to go, which I do

because this is the best way,
by stealth, no one knows I am coming,

no cake to be baked,
and my mother not worrying most of her day

by the telephone, clearly imagining
fifty car pileups,

the ambulance wailing, the whole bloody
nine miles of interstate closed

for the body count.
No idle comments about my new haircut,

my extra pounds. I could be dust
on the air or a bright stab of light passing through.

I don't have to stay long.
I can leave when I want to, without feeling guilty

when I see my father's eyes squinching
back tears as I drive away.

Hello and goodbye. That's it.
And I'm back

in my bedroom that faces south into the side
of these trees, with the radio on

warning Traveler's Advisory. Wrecking-ball hailstones.
King Kong tornado. Megaton Blizzard.

A forecast so unimaginably bad, only a fool
would drive home in this kind of weather.



9 comments:

Glenda Council Beall said...

I love the mention of your hair. Mothers seem to do that to daughters, no matter the daughters age. I heard one woman say that comment about her hair from her mother always reduced her from a competent adult woman to a self-conscious child. I've seen that with my own sister and her lovely daughter. Generation after generation.
Hope you are home safe and sound tonight.

Vicki Lane said...

Just beautiful! "Dust on the air or a bright stab of light passing through'! A perfect archetypal journey to heart's home.

Julia Nunnally Duncan said...

Yes, that's why my hair remains long beyond all common sense. And why I now forbid my own daughter to cut her long hair.

I love the photo of the road stretching before you.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Beautiful, and so telling ... mothers, daughters, fathers...Home.

Funny, but it's my dad who comments on my appearance more than my mother does. When I cut my hair boy-short...oh dear...but, Dad it's my hair. dad....still.

our parents.

Charlotte said...

It's lovely that you still have your old room to be back in, Kay. The lines "I could be dust
on the air or a bright stab of light passing through" I just had to copy down. That thought intrigues and settles me.

Julia Nunnally Duncan said...

Come to think of it, back in the early 80's when I decided to have my bangs cut short, my father gently protested. Otherwise, I don't remember him commenting on my hair, how I dressed, etc. Maybe he did care about all that, but just didn't want to say anything. I think he was like Kay's father, a hard-working, reticent man.

Jessie Carty said...

i just loved reading this :) the drive home always seems so much longer than the drive away from it...

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Oh yes, how home pulls us and repells us, often at the same time. Julia, I let my daughter grow her hair as long as she wanted it--it's now waist-length. I hope she never cuts it. Well, not much, anyway. She asks me to trim the ends when she comes home.
Glenda is a S Ga. girl raised just a few miles from me. She knows about hair and its symbology!
I'm glad Vicki and Charlotte liked the dust and light images, and Jessie, I think you are right, but that first stretch after leaving feels awfully long. It's only when I hit the interstate that I feel I've truly left and am on my way back up to the mountains.
Kathryn, my father now and then opined about my appearance--weight and hair. My mom liked my hair very short. He didn't. I had moments of hating having them look at me!

Catherine Carter said...

Really love this one, Kay--the ending's a wringer and a twister.