I woke up and broke my poem. So often, this happens after having a critique, as I did last night. This is process: taking the poem I felt was so clear and complete to my group. And the comments were helpful; what's working, what's not. Driving my friend home, dropping her off, she seemed surprised that I didn't get how positive the response was. So, upon waking, my revision started: by breaking it. Becoming bewildered by it again. What is not working, exactly? If T. is right, and these two lines aren't ringing true (and he is usually precisely right), then what? Excise that. Let it go. If it's truly needed it will come back.
Then, my walk, it's sooooo hot in the woods, so pantingly, Suzi and Charlie tromp into the swamp for a mud-dip. And then I take them past the fresh brook where they dip for a cleanse. All this refreshing must be working my spirit. I go back to the poem and I work out what I think needs to work out. This involves a helpful revisiting of my original notes and earliest draft. I work it out until it's true and beautiful - and the lines are singing to me, again. My doubts are resolved. This is the title poem of my chapbook. I slip it in place in the manuscript. This is what's right for right now and the chapbook is circulating. Thunderstorms and rain all afternoon and the summer day is washed fresh.