Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Sunday, January 10, 2010

#197 Extreme . . .

Living in someone else's house,
I assume a second skin, eat
another person's food, sleep
in another person's bed,
feet off the end, covers tossed,
the heat set high.
The stairway creaks with losses mourned.
I could not name all those photos,
phone books to another time,
each cracked bowl comes
with its own story, Chinese willow,
the night all the dishes were thrown to the floor,
speakeasy times,
I methodically go through the refrigerator
check food labels and dates,
change the pages on calendars,
take out the garbage,
and fill my days
waiting for doctors,
watching snow fall.

When a crisis hits, nothing is more wonderful than family and friends. We're five days away from coming home and have stayed with family for the last four weeks as my dear husband recovers from a mild stroke. I feel my world has turned, pivoted, and changed irrevocably. Writing has always been my solace, but this is the first poem I've written since December 18. I would love to change what's happened, my confidence in the future is shaken, and even as I appreciate family support, I'm longing for our own place.


  1. The stairway creaks with losses mourned.

    What a wonderful line! The whole concept of this poem is unique and filled with emotion. Yu've got me wondering why all the dishes fell to the floor: an earthquake? a fight? I keep picturing that scene in Titanic when the ship tilts and all the white dishes slide off the shelves. What "tilting" in this family's life caused those dishes to fall?

    Hope your husband recovers completely and that you'll be cozy in your own home soon!

  2. So sorry for this great upheaval in your life. I'm praying you'll soon be home and life will get back to normal.

  3. That creaking stairway is a great image.
    It is Good to have a friendly, if unfamiliar, place to stay during the worst of the shock and adjustment.
    But *home* is best and most comforting for growing into new acceptances.

    I'm thinking of you and your husband.

  4. Very nicely written poetry,
    I'm sorry to hear about your husband,
    and I wish you and him the very best in 2010.

  5. Oh Beth, praying for all of you. I had a stroke at the age of 49 and have been stroke free for six years. In that time my husband went into kidney failure and has since had a transplant. I say all that to say that I KNOW exactly what you are talking about. Be gentle and patient with yourself and remind your husband in the coming days to be the same with himself. It was a year before I started feeling anything like myself again. You feel so lost and as though you are being punished for something you don't even know you did. I will not say that it is easy because of course it isn't. It IS survivable though and there is an end to the tunnel. Keep writing and if you ever just need to scream, yell, whine - whatever you can email me at deedeekm at gmail dot com. Again prayers and a few hugs too.

  6. Such a lovely, eloquent poem of someone experiencing a trauma. You pack so much into so few words! My grandfather and aunt both had strokes last year and I suspect my father would be a lot easier to deal with if he channeled his feelings into writing.

    Hope your husband heals as soon as possible and you're both soon home safe and comfortable.

  7. may all ur longings be fulfilled

    I am sorry for the late arrival to Sunday Scribblings but I had to pay you a visit :)

    Happy SS

    Extreme 'Caution'

  8. You writing shows that times of stress can sometimes bring out our best. Keep up the writing as a creative stress release.I wish you the best for yourself and your husbands recovery.You are right there is no place like home.