I am Seattlite now, a satellite from the main orb of childhood in Kansas, that heavy earthbound place with no oceans just lakes, just monsters like Loch Ness and Bob Dole haunting the murky turgid waters. Why does my tether stretch so far yet still elastic me, popping back and forth, helium-filled floaters, I am sending out communication from this vantage point. Messages from your satellite, Seattle, visitor from another world, another planet, I am alien bursting out of myself.
Seattlite now, a place where always green, always relief from hard-prying eyes of churchfolk and all that small narrow-eyed hallway, all the lockers lined up orange brown like the worst kind of Halloween candy. Seattle, a satellite, beam me down Gaia, grab my roots and yank them feet-first down into your fire. Oh fire warm hearth warm bosom of Great Mother, your satellite Seattle floats not totally unconcerned all these mile above you, we are enamored of forest/ocean/mountain melange.
Mint melange, the Trader Joe’s tea I drink with Amanda, the lemongrass cuts the cold metal of mint, puts a summer splash down in the the middle. Middle school, middle school students like the ones I will tutor. Mentor, tutor juju I am good with kids because I’m loose and wily, wild and wooly, Snuffelupagus. I am free now, floating, up Seattle like a satellite, picking up on startalk, the elaborate flashing and winking of our sisters in the sky. Also I am a sister in the sky.
I am clematis, feet planted in cool dark earth, purple-petaled face drinking in enormous sun. I like to think of things on an enormous scale. Also a micro-level. Micro-organism, micro-finance, micro-focus on the oppression within me first. Oh oppression is such a big, academic-sounding word! What is it in the simplest of terms? Fear wound push press smother, kites without tails, how can we fly? And how can we be Seattle and satellite, together and at once, be our own reflections? Feet buried, head floating, clematis. I’m glad I took those horticulture classes if for nothing else than to have all this knowledge banked–plant ID was my favorite.
When I wrote that Winter poem and sought my mind quickly for a specific tree name, cottonwood bobbed to the surface. Then later, in revision, I went to look up images of cottonwood trees in winter, to make sure it worked, and the first picture pops up with the caption “Kansas State Tree.” I had no idea. It’s what my subconscious grabbed and how much other knowledge is packed away up there in my pack-rat mind? My animal card yesterday was mouse. Never had that one come up before. All about focus, scrutiny, storing away details, information.
Mouse is perhaps one of the most underestimated of our brethren.