Emptying My Pockets

of the seeds that rattle around,
the ones that want to grow:

the poem about my wilderness
within

that story about the Wife
going out into that world

that entry about school stuff being
just like chores

the poem about
recipes
written in the hands
of those I love

that letter expressing my
profound gratitude

that other story
about the woman
who carries
the weight of the world

I sometimes roll them around
my palm
or my mind
feeling them grow
shiny and smooth
as river stones

And it helps to think

they don’t care
when they’re watered
or how much sunlight
or how fertile the soil –

they wait
til I am ready
to dig.

Published by Lainie Levin

Mom of two, full-time teacher, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and holder of a very full plate

8 thoughts on “Emptying My Pockets

  1. “feeling them grow
    shiny and smooth
    as river stones”

    My favorite lines. It brought imagery of a particular river in Tennessee. I agree that there are some stories, poems, or memories that we tend to or keep rolling around in our head as a way of comfort. This was a beautiful read. Thank you.

    1. Thank you! I sometimes use that language with my kids. Sometimes they just need to roll an idea around in their heads before it’s ready. (Sometimes they carry ideas behind their ears or stuck in their shoes, but that’s a blog for another day =)

  2. Ideas are like seeds. So.stones we plant them, nurture them, and watch them grow. Sometimes they are carried on the wind planting themselves in our mind taking root and not letting us go until we tell their story.

    1. Thank you! I know that the writing program many of my colleagues use talks about starting stories from a “small seed.” I’ve always liked that reference…

  3. Ideas. Fragments, Moments. Images. Feelings.

    The seeds of great writing, ready to germinate and bloom. They do wait a long, long time … I have learned to spread them out on paper where I can keep them until the planting.

    I love the comparison to river stones rolling round in the palm or mind – that’s about as close as it gets to describing the writer’s composition process. The mental palm feeling the turning and the shape and texture … oh yes.

    1. And boy oh boy doesn’t it feel right in the palm of your hand?

      Please tell me you’ve read Byrd Baylor’s “Everybody Needs a Rock?”

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