I have a confession: since I've been accepted to an MFA program, I've written 0 poems. 0. Not even a measly line. I have thoughts of poems. Sometimes I plan them out in my head and subsequently forget about them. For example, I know there is a poem brewing in my head about how I've had to be my own cheerleader. No one gets excited for me the way a mom would. Sometimes I ache to call my mom and have her be so excited about my life that she wets herself. Too much info? Probably. I guess my point is that I've had to be my own motivation. I'm not giving my mama bragging rights.
Anyway, the poem is there. It has drifted in and out of my head like breath. Sometimes the poem comes to me in prom images such as calling my former babysitter to come over just so someone could experience this "important" moment with me. or graduation images... or other mom/daughter moments. For example, standing in line at Wal-mart with a mom and her daughter. Daughter is my age. Mom goes on and on about daughter's accomplishments. I listen politely. How can I list my accomplishments and not be seen as self-centered?
How can I write and not be self-centered? Dealing with loss is what I know. I don't want to wallow around in the loss of my mother for twenty more years, but my writing thrives on my own emotional evaluation. and I don't want to keep opening up wounds in my family either (more on this later).
The best case scenario: at the risk of seeming self-centered, my writing helps someone grieve their own loss.
I turn the muddled poem around in my head again, knowing that eventually it will surface on the page, and one day I will feel confident enough to send it to a lit mag. In the meantime, I will horde my finished poems, rereading them ever so often to keep them alive.