All day I tried to solve it in my head, this poem I wrote Monday. The feedback from my group was excellent. Which is to say I agreed with the problems they - well, Tom, identified. He saw right straight to the core issue of what wasn’t working about the poem. All day it felt like the answer was on the tip of the tongue, something I needed to examine in my own heart about why I felt irritable – and showed it – the moment the guests, all relatives I love, arrived for the holiday party I offered to host. My welcome lacked grace. I’d love a do-over. All those years in psychodrama training, I would definitely have staged a do-over. In real life, I made some amends, apologized to my sister and aunt and my daughter and my Charleston for being in a bad mood.
Finally, tonight, even though it was getting late and I felt too tired to revise, I opened the poem to just have a little look, promising myself I wouldn’t touch it ‘til tomorrow. Then, once it was opened, I just chipped away at it, and I felt like I was losing it and breaking it and making it worse until I realized - no, it’s better. I gave up some lines I loved and wanted to hold onto. Tomorrow, I’ll see if the changes hold. For tonight, I’m surprised, and satisfied. The answer wasn’t in my head. It was on the page as I mucked around and fretted and sacrificed some darlings. Tomorrow, perhaps I’ll have to kill some more. For now, I’ll rest.