Saturday, March 22, 2008

Details of Separation

At SoulFood Poetry in Redmond on Thursday, I listen to Marian Kimes and know that's how I want to be as I grow older--confidant, certain in my words and strategic with the microphone to utter the relevant sounds that draw the listener closer as I wear a long feather suspended from a twine necklace over the lovely blues of hand-dyed textiles. For now I chose blacks and browns and the darker wines like animal pelts to shelter and
protect me from the dismay of Iraq.

Last night Kirk asked if he could read to me from Shakespeare by Harold Bloom and the chapter on Hamlet in which Bloom addresses why writers write--to better understand a difficulty. Is this why I write about Michael's deployment? Feel the need to organize my thoughts regarding the families who are left behind? Grapple with how it is to disagree with the war yet find you have someone you care about who is there.

Today the grandchildren gathered to color hard-boiled eggs. Maizie orchestrated the party and hid the plastic eggs though the three toddlers quickly learned where to find them in the grass and how to crack them open for the chocolate. Maizie asked me to color eggs with her, like my Daddy does for Easter, and told me about the care package my daughter will mail to Iraq next week.

Before Michael deployed he took time to make keepsakes for the girls such as the pillow cases imprinted with a recent family photo, and the CD the Army filmed of him reading Maizie's favorite bedtime story. These are the details most people don't know, the details of separation, preparing for deployment--that word, deployment, that also means separation half way around the planet in a different time zone, etc. There's something else my daughter might order for the girls, a life-size photo of Michael. Some families find that posting the large photo can be a comfort.

No comments: