Emily Randolph: A broom, a whisk and a list

Posted:  Friday, December 6, 2013 - 7:30am

I'm making a list of the things that I'll need on my own:

A whisk.

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

like blood

bubbling up from a scratch on my hand

where the dog greeted me with clawed enthusiasm

with joy

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

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.