We've been packing up our possessions. By "we've," I mean mostly Jake. Today I went through my clothes to separate the clothes I don't want anymore from the ones I do - which is a difficult task when my body is still out of kilter. But I succeeded. I also took all of my maternity clothes out to put back in their tub for another rest.

My maternity clothes share the tub with all of the things I decided to keep from my college courses. Going through the extended version of that collection before we moved to Chicago was quite the task. I wanted to keep it all. But alas, I kept a stack a little over a foot tall, and part of that is a huge binder that houses my teaching portfolio. The portfolio was a huge deal in my education classes. It was supposed to be a really important item that I used in interviewing and getting a job. I haven't pulled it out once since I graduated, but since it was ingrained to be of infinite worth, I keep it.

Toward the top of my pile was a poem I wrote in what ended up being my favorite course. I took it my very last semester (Spring 2007), and had to have special permission to be in it while I was student teaching. It was at the perfect time: 4-5:15 MW. I needed that class. I miscarried my first pregnancy the week before it started. It was called Literature and Spirituality, and I was in terrible pain during our first meeting. After class, I went to the bathroom and passed a blood clot somewhere between the size of a golf and baseball.

Our assignment for the poem: Write a poem that describes your spirituality. On the back of the poem I turned in, I wrote: "Can I apologize for this poem? Of course I can... My spirituality in a poem... I don't think I had enough time. I don't know that I know enough to bring it down to a few lines rather than an epic. This poem is my eclectic spiritual self. ;)"

When my professor gave it back, it had a sweet note, along with the letter grade. I still appreciate her thoughts. I thought I'd share the poem here, as I've been pondering how different this poem might be if I were asked to write it today.


I sat listening to Burgundy Shoes
And thought the simple melody
Before the words come
Might be the right theme for my life

I opened a letter from my father
A picture of my great grandfather fell out
He had the largest cockfighting circuit in the nation
I cry at the thought of anything dying
I'm afraid of spiders
But I save them

My waist was 23 inches in high school
Now it's 24, having come down from 26
It can be 23 if I pull the tape tight
But somehow that's cheating
I don't run 5 miles a day anymore

I have everything
and something is always missing
I am fulfilled and never content
I am interested and bored out of my mind

I am floating on my back in the Pacific Ocean
Thinking of nothing
Except for sharks pulling me under
I'm suspended

I wake up

There's no ocean
or mountains
Long flat streets with no sidewalks
Bradford Pear Trees blooming
Accents I don't understand

And I love it
But it's still not mine

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