Driftwood

I have been wanting to get back into the habit of “blogging”, or what used to be called journaling and before that diarying, for some time – and this seems like a good time to start back up. I have known for about a week that we are pregnant with #3, which seems unbelievable. THREE KIDS. I am of course thrilled and excited, but the husband is less-than-so, since he is still the primary care giver in the relationship.

I had the hardest time coming up with a clever name for my new distraction from everything else I should be doing, but thanks to a recent poem, I found myself a title. “Driftwood” came about from an old poem I wrote when BW and I started dating and went river walking. This is funny now because my husband is not exactly nature-boy. The things you’ll do to win a girl’s heart, I tell you what. At any rate, the old poem was… bad. But I love renovation, and renovating old poems is much like renovating houses – you find one characteristic you love and you build on it, tearing everything else away. So, “Driftwood” came about as a piece about marriage making two people holy rather than happy, though it could be about any type of long term relationship – with God, with people, with pets, I don’t know 😉

Here ’tis –

Driftwood

Not unlike two pieces of driftwood from up river,
we spin in the current and undertow of the falls.
The rocks, slick under our sandals render each step
cautious, the familiar made unfamiliar
by lichened sandstone loosened, unpredictable,
transient beneath our feet.

The water makes us softer; we are blending,
being refined, losing sharper edges, your limbs
and mine twist together, threaten to destroy each other.
How do I not break you, our throes violent, sudden, severe?
I could snap in half, take part of you with me.

When we’re finally spit out, the knotted whorl left over
will be bare, our two indistinguishable, polished, holy.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). My memoir, American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation, and the second volume of devotionals, The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others, will be released in 2022. Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

2 thoughts on “Driftwood

  1. A third?! How exciting! I am greatly looking forward to lunch with you and Beki in the coming weeks (although I hope the hormones aren’t contagious!) 🙂

    Like

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