As we're taking a short break from travel due to demands on our time from real estate rentals, I'm taking a writing workshop which has an emphasis on womens' writing. At the first session on Sunday, our excellent teacher presented us with exercises, one of which was to select something from her home, something that we could see, which evoked an emotional response in us. Two of the others wrote about books. The house, as you'd imagine a writer's home to be, is loaded with bookshelves, floor to ceiling. Mary was moved to write an excellent essay about her meetings with Joyce Carol Oates and Mary Roach. BJ wrote dreamily about how her mother read to her and her siblings every night and about the pain of being allowed only two books from the library each week. Marit wrote a witty essay, oh so appropriate for our troubled times, about a little statue of president Obama our hostess had placed in a white cup in her kitchen - black and white.
In contrast to the deep thinking going on in the room, I (apparently the lightweight of the group) wrote about the blueberries in the bowl on the coffee table in front of us - the blueberries I was munching by the spoonful, having left home without lunch. I had an emotional reaction to them as they were assuaging my hunger and also because I'm always cynical about the nutrition claims issued by this council or that commission.
The bowl looked like this....
Here's my piece of blank verse.
The blueberries are gorgeous
Royal blue and juicy, nestled in a Polish ceramic bowl.
A haze coats every second one - just enough to
separate the blue from the blue from the blue.
I spoon them into my hand and eat them one-by-one,
lady-like as my mother would say.
"One at a time?" my husband would scoff
"Live a little and eat a handful!"
But raw excess might leave my teeth and lips bluish
and that would never do.
Royal, navy, cobalt, sapphire are colors for pants and tattoos and not lipstick shades.
At least, not yet. Well, maybe Halloween.
And are the berries really so good for us?
Or will we find out next year or the next year
that ad men have worked their magic and tricked us once again,
And will we discover, too late, that excessive
blue causes facial warts at eighty
Or arterial sclera-something at ninety
And we really should have eaten more cheeseburgers?