Runoff from the Rockies

Sometimes it’s hard to figure things out.

My cat lives in someone else’s home. My poetry books are in storage in a friend’s garage. I know where west is, because the mountains are there, but sometimes there is so much sky I am dizzy. Tonight I will write with the women in the Larimer County Detention Center: echoes of my work in NYC with both PEN Prison Writing Project and New York Writer’s Coalition. Things here are as different from NYC as cowboys are different from strap-hangers on the A train. But they both may wear jeans, and they both may enjoy the sheer speed of their steed, and they both may have memories of a youth that included hard knocks and ice cream, and hopes for a future that starts with the next breath.

While I busy myself meeting new people and places here, I am reminded how different it is (floods after four days of rain) and how similar (the moon struggles to shine through clouds). I am excited to be building a different, new and challenging life — while keeping close all that has kept me happy and buoyed to date.

Sometimes I get little pangs and I miss the lump of cat at the end of my bed or I grow impatient with myself as I encounter new signals that accumulate in a torrent as runoff from the Rockies. But even when the background and the foreground are vying for attention, I work to sort out the glistening bits, and grab at the hearts and stars!

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