Train to Albany

There’s an Amish family in the train car ahead of me. The girl is quiet, is covered for modesty – as is her mother – and sucks on a pacifier. My son is taking his hat off and laughing with a kind of manic sound that’s going to become tears. I have to remind myself of two things: this too shall pass and the quiet baby girl cries too.

Heather says it’s good Avery cries and laughs, that he can communicate his needs. Most of my friends say that, but in my vulnerable moments, of which there are many, I can’t help but wonder why he is always making so many sounds. Does he already know how hard it is to be heard? Has the world already shown him the kind of noise he has to make to generate an echo, to fall into an ear, to fill the space?

I’m thinking these things at the same time I’m trying to listen to myself. Intuition. People keep saying that word. I doubt it’s meaning, existence, and practicality. But I hear something in the space between my brows that suggests a restlessness. Why haven’t you published your children’s books? Why are you waiting to become a writer? There’s an endless series of why questions I’m trying to attend to.

Is it possible that my son has already seen me push those inner sounds down? Is he talking because I’m not?

I never wanted a blog. I wanted a place to keep track of things: mostly poems, publications, and sometimes time. But the end if a year makes us think of beginning, the new year, what’s coming. What’s coming is a new need; I need to collect, to collect so that I can listen.

Avery, your name sounds of wind and birds. I’m going to whistle some. I’m going to send some in the wind and see where it drops down. In Buffalo, we are past our knees in melted snow. It’s not the winter I wanted, but it’s the place I decided to turn around and think about that time I saw a fish in a frozen pond and didn’t want to think there was resemblance.



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