You're going to feel like hell if you wake up someday and you never wrote the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves of your heart: your stories, memories, visions and songs -- your truth, your version of things -- in your own voice. That's really all you have to offer us, and that's also why you were born.
- Anne Lamott 12 Truths from Writing and Life
Beth Lodge-Rigal is the Creative Director of Women Writing for (a) Change/The Writing for a Change Foundation of Bloomington. For 16 years, she’s been dedicated to building safe and courageous spaces for women, girls, and all individuals to create and connect through the art of writing and deep listening.
She’s an award- winning songwriter, a life-long writer, learner, social entrepreneur, Mother, Partner, and Leader.
Welcome to The Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Beth, what poems do you have for us today?
Some days the drive through northwest Ohio puts me in mind of stoic
Norwegian fathers bent against a mythic sky, dour Scotsmen hunched
in barn coats at the bar smelling, all of them, of peat and pickled cabbage.
This land-not- quite-home, was good a place as any our ancestors thought
to dig a row, is still another country to me.
Unbright day, winter stiffens my knuckles at the wheel. The radio
Is busted, no-tunes to break the dull hum of wheels, rain, the backsplash
of impatient truckers and snowbirds headed south. All of us cart Christmas
away from wherever we just were, with January February, March rolling out before us- the weight of whimsy and recent whatnot shifting over the miles.
I think of how our mother rested in winter. She grew quiet, wrote letters,
read fat books, burned candles in windows and prayed for snow to keep us all
under roof awhile longer. Re-grouping in the cluttered holiday aftermath,
she’d say, “ Let the lights burn low, children. Look into the dark beyond the pane where everything waits.”
I’d squint into the void, but only ever saw her reflected brightly behind me,
deep in another country, twisting her hair, turning a page.
the soft snap
as leaf separates from tree.
What sound does landing make?
One day, the wind just right,
tugs at the joint.
A severed wing
swirls on currents-
then lands on mosses,
Oh, to break
with such grace!
The golden body
to touch a wordless
You’re breaking me
I said it only once when you were three
on fire with temper throwing punches
while flinging yourself into the other side
of a door held closed with my body
as I slipped down the rabbit hole of
despair some mothers know well when the
force of their love is not enough to save
a child from their own nature.
I hope you’ll forgive that door, closed
to protect us both, though your loneliness,
like mine springs, in part, I suspect, from rooms
we were sent to contemplate the least attractive
aspects of our character, snuff fire and re-boot
for the better good of all. I wanted
perfection once, to know all the right angles
and raise you wiser, but found out soon
enough love is in the breakdown and recovery,
distances in inches, all the fallible miles we travel
From I’m sorry. To I think we’ll be ok
You've been listening to the poetry of Beth Lodge-Rigal on The Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey.