Emily Randolph: A broom, a whisk and a list
I'm making a list of the things that I'll need on my own:
Why a whisk?
A whisk for the eggs that I'll scramble.
But I don't like my eggs scrambled.
I like them sunny or fried
with the yolks runny and salty
bubbling up from a scratch on my hand
where the dog greeted me with clawed enthusiasm
like I was part of the pack
like this pale fragile film that covers my frame
was not pale
was not fragile
but like the pale fragile film was a hide
covered over in thick dark fur.
The dog greeted me like I walked on four legs
like my teeth were made to tear out men's throats
We tell stories.
We tell stories to make sense of our lives.
We tell stories to communicate our experience of being alive.
We tell stories in our own distinct voice. Our own unique rhythm and tonality.
Transformations is a weekly story-telling column. The stories are written by community members who are my students. Our stories will be about family, love, loss and good times. We hope to make you laugh and cry. Maybe we will convince you to tell your stories.
— Kathrin Seitz
“Everyone, when they get quiet, when they become desperately honest with themselves, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.” — Henry Miller
Kathrin Seitz teaches Method Writing in Rockport, New York City and Florida. She can be reached at email@example.com.
like my hands were not hands
but paws that walk silent on snow.
I'm leaving home,
listing the things that I'll need on my own.
I'll need a broom to sweep up
all the dirt and the dust
that the dog will track in from outside
only there won't be a dog
to track dirt
to track dust
the dog with stay here while I go away.
The dog will stay here while I go away.
The dog will stay here
my bed will be cold
my floors will be clean
my trash will be safe
and I won't need to buy underwear every two weeks.
But the dog will stay here
and I'll leave the pack.
I keep listing the things that I'll need on my own.
I'll need a whisk for the eggs that I'll never scramble.
I'll need a broom to remind me
why my floors are still clean.
I'm leaving my home
I'm leaving my pack
I'm heading out west to the place I was born
I'm going away but I'll boomerang back
because my father was born in New England
and he headed west
because my mother was born in New Jersey
and she headed west
but me I was born close to the sunset
and now I've turned round
and I'm heading back west
and I wonder if maybe a switch wasn't thrown
my parents went west and yo-yoed back east.
I've hopscotched my way from South West to Atlantic
and now that I'm turning back to my roots
I look over my shoulder and wonder
if from now on I'll always be a lone wolf,
pining for the pack that I left in the east
when I boomeranged back to the place of my birth
with my broom
and my whisk
and my list of the things that I'll need on my own.
Emily Randolph lives in Rockport with her family and four dogs. She writes fantasy novels, poetry and song lyrics. She plays in her family bluegrass band and enjoys hiking, kayaking, cycling, and watching Western and martial arts movies.