Give Now  »

wfiu logo
WFIU Public Radio

wtiu logo
WTIU Public Television

Choose which station to support!

Indiana Public Media | WFIU - NPR | WTIU - PBS

Noon Edition

Another Country

Read Transcript
Hide Transcript

Transcript

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?

 

Another Country

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. 

 

Landing

Consider

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,

unbruised.

 

Oh, to break

with such grace!

The golden body

floating free

to touch a wordless

ground.

 

Dear Daughter-

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.

Beth Lodge-Rigal

Beth Lodge-Rigal. (Courtesy of the poet.)

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, from 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.

Beth reads "Another Country," "Landing," and "Dear Daughter-" on the is edition of The Poets Weave.

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About The Poets Weave