The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Seven edited sentences:
A retrospective walk through a year’s words

Rachael Conlin Levy
Caretaking

1. Potholes on the road taken, Jan. 22.

Don’t tell me that life’s a path of self-discovery, don’t tell me I could’ve taken the poet’s less-traveled road as I sit in traffic, don’t tell me that we’re all on a journey toward self-improvement, self-actualization, self-awareness: I ain’t in’trested.

 

Caretaking

2. Snail sentences, small and measured, Nov. 23.

In slippered feet, I wander through dim rooms, so cool, so empty; the movement a thin line of progress, so small, so measured.

 

The forecast: First hike

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3. In early morning’s sooty light, birdsong blessed the day, June 18.

Eighteen years have passed since sleep and sons eluded me, enough lifetime for two of the three boys to grow into smart, strong men now living in the liminal space that hums with uncertainty, molecules vibrating with anticipation. Jittery, I breathe in and wait for the future to reveal itself.

 

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4. From my perspective, all exhaustion and futility, Oct. 22.

Want to know what I fear? 

Not having an imagination large enough.

Delightful enough.

Fanciful. 

Enough. 

Enough.

Enough.

Weary in spirit, I walk.

 

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5. It’s never too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize: Relying on Thoreau as I mother a young climate activist, Sept. 24.

My child hovered in the entry, uncertain where to go, what to do, fearing what might happen if he crossed the thresh hold. His face was drained of color and creased with worry. I shook my head.

“It’s time to go.”

“But they won’t let me.”

“This is what it means to strike.

 

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Ivan, tired.

6. A weather forecast calls for reduction of cloud, mushroom, Oct. 1.

My friend called me the A-word, my child says when asked about school. Respond with a plate of buttered toast and ibuprofen for him, wine for me. Days that begin with translucence and bird aria end in the poet’s unstoppable coming darkness.

 

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7. Philosopher-poet seeks words’ precarious beauty, March 26.

Here.

In this space that is public (yet in all other aspects private because of its obscurity), I speak into the silence. Like a ghost, I’ve haunted the blog for the lifespan of this youngest child. Stealing moments out of my life, reveling in the temporary solitude, I have been happy. To write is a comfort. With few watching, the blog’s opacity frees me to live the questions and write my way to the answers. Here there is space to wander and wonder.

I am grateful.

  1. Potholes on the road taken, Jan. 22.
  2. Snail sentences, small and measured, Nov. 23.
  3. In early morning’s sooty light, birdsong blessed the day, June 18.
  4. From my perspective, all exhaustion and futility, Oct. 22.
  5. It’s never too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize: Relying on Thoreau as I mother a young climate activist, Sept. 24.
  6. A weather forecast calls for reduction of cloud, mushroom, Oct. 1.
  7. Philosopher-poet seeks words’ precarious beauty, March 26.

 

 



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