A Story Written in Water

I keep asking myself if I want to write a memoir. But isn’t that what I am continually doing?

Besides. There’s no one to verify a word.

The first time

a boy

wanted to kiss me

I made him do it

underwater.

That’s when I knew

I was amphibious.

from “Red-eared Slider, X”.
Powell, R., & Lodén, E. (2004). Mixed states = Rødøret terrapin. Stavanger: Wigestrand –
and selected poems, Mixed States. Phoenicia Publishing.

If I did write a memoir, I would write it with water, on water, in water.
Water makes the world simultaneously lighter – and darker.
It clarifies and it distorts.
Soothes and terrifies.

I’ve been having vivid dreams. Usually that happens when I’m depressed. But now I think it is menopause – this crossing over. Crossing through.

There is a place in Skagen, Denmark, where two seas meet and the sky is soft. Once I watched a friend swim there with seals. It’s dangerous, though. One helluva rip-tide.

Envy leaves a deep wound in the soul.

I dream about my sore hipbones, where my six-year-old wraps his skinny legs and holds tight – anchoring me. He is giggling while I try to pry him off, tugging at his long arms: Monkey child, I giggle too, but my bones ache.

And I wake to a different kind of ache.
It’s like I’m underwater most days – sounds are muffled. I push my jaw forward, trying to clear my ears.

Nostalgia takes me by surprise. It’s yet another concept I prematurely believed I understood.
Prematurely dismissed.

There are roses on my desk. The stems are refracted.
What’s underwater is magnified.
What is above is withering and should have been tossed in the compost a week ago.


Postscript: Weekly writing prompts at NothingButMetta4. I hope you’ll check them out. And I hope they are inspiring. #nothingbutmetta4

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Patrick Riley says:

    I liked this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ren Powell says:

      Thank you! sorry to be so absent on facebook – carefully avoiding too much of the feed these days – miss you, though.

      Like

  2. neil reid says:

    I forget where I am even while I am sitting there. close my eyes and reality, well, whatever it wants is for it to say. my voice is a passenger. water water everywhere inviting me to love this post of yours. do I feel at fault, not saying so much what’s happening for me? I want to do better than I am, words like reindeer on Santa’s sleigh. (trying, although don’t like the newer WP editor, harder, not easier. yet compelled, driven to engage. try one more time tonight. maybe, maybe then sleep. growing bones together is not my usual state of mind. OK, me go work. thanks Ren for keeping my head inside the waves. touch, don’t touch, which am I? learning to breathe underwater. you teach like a river stone. me. listening.

    Like

    1. Ren Powell says:

      And I am listening to you, Neil. I know that something has been lost – but clearly, something else has been released. Peace. ❤

      Like

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