Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The wounded

I'm sick, the kind where I realized this morning it was coming and felt it by degrees grip me stronger and stronger, even as I pretended to feel fine and worked on my projects and offered support to one friend by phone, to another by text, went to three meetings and picked up two kids, then another, fed them, mothered them, tucked them in. Fell asleep in one bed, then another. The kind of sick where the world will keep spinning, no doubt, but I've begun the calculus weighing my paltry leave balance against the idea of a few catch-up hours in bed tomorrow. I'd still have to start my day no matter what; the lovely husband is a few states away and someone has to get all those small people to their respective schools. 

Maybe I'm delirious but I saw raw tenderness everywhere today.


The bark is rutted with drill marks. Woodpecker scars intrude in almost parallel lines, dangling a little to the right like a child's handwriting. Trailing off. Just a shift in perspective, though, and off is around, like the moss neon green-almost-yellow against the dark-damp wood. It rained all night and everything is wet. 

I thought moss only grows on one side of a tree.
I think woodpecker scars look like late-'90s barbed-wire tattoos.
I thought those tattoos never made sense. If you want to scare someone away you guard your heart, not your bicep. If you want to lock yourself in you ring your mind so nothing sharp can puncture you.

I'd get lost in a forest.

I almost never hear a woodpecker but every day I see trees with scars.

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