“Is it the beginning of a poem?” By Julia in the bathroom

Thursday March 28, 2019
5 minutes
The Poet Always Carries A Notebook
Mary Oliver

I tell the woman my name after she asks and make a joke about my last name rhyming with wedgie so she’ll remember how to pronounce it.

She looks at me for a minute then I explain that it came from some unkind yet quite creative grade fours when I was the new kid in school. I laugh, she laughs, everyone sitting near us laughs. And then she begins to talk about how a pebble in a stream can change the course of a river and I’m going where she’s taking me. She uses it as a teaching moment to remind the class that even small moments can stay with us our whole lives and we don’t know which pebbles people are walking around with in their pockets.

It even hits me hard and I’m the one joking about it.

She tells me, maybe that’s the start of a poem. It already rhymes…

“The road” by Julia at R Squared

Monday, January 21, 2013 at R Squared
5 minutes
The road (excerpt from a writing exercise)

She was giving me dead eyes, but on purpose. I said, Sorry Lina, I didn’t mean to–I shouldn’t have said you were narrow minded. You’re not, okay, you have–you’re a lot of things other than that. Lina had turned her face to stone just by looking at me. I was worried I was next. She picked up her body, like one solid brick, and slowly walked to the bathroom. She was direct–methodical in her quest for water. Splashing the cool stream onto her face, making her cheeks glisten, making it hard for me to decipher if it was from the faucet or from her tear ducts. Lina, I called at her again, Can you just forgive me this time, please?
She’s stubborn. Hates to be nagged. Hates other people to decide how she feels. I’ve been riding her for years–trying to influence my little sister into feeling what I feel. I know that’s wrong. I know it because her face looks like it might crumble into a million tiny pebbles if I push at her too hard. She’d do that as a lesson to me. Can’t get anywhere when she’s scattered across the living room.