Daily Musing – This Day

From The Pocket Muse 2, today’s writing prompt:

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.

~Annie Dillard, from This Writing Life

A little background information that I know about Annie Dillard. She was married to the writer and professor, Richard Dillard. Richard Dillard taught, at the time of my attendance, Writing and Literature at Hollins College (now Hollins University). His ex-wife, Annie, was a bit of a fascination to me because I wondered what drove her to marry a man like Richard, for whom I cared little as a student. I could only surmise that perhaps during the late 60s and early 70s when they were married, Richard was perhaps a different sort of man. Annie Dillard is best known for Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

And now for the Daily Musing… Monica Wood asks, “How will you spend this day?”


My mind wants to dance and feel the rhythm of the beat, beat, beat in my head. Dance and twirl.. movements my feet can no longer perform. These poor feet still clouded with wool socks. O Chemo! what did you do to me? You’ve stolen my jazz, taken away my snazzy razzamatazz. There is nothing more I can do.

In reality, I will sleep the majority of my day away. Hopefully awakening at some midday o’clock and force myself to remain awake. The fatigue has returned and the pains in my abdomen, hips and legs. Not as intensely as before, but it is there and it frightens me. So I will call the oncologist today and report what I am experiencing. I am not sure if this should wait until October. Please, don’t let it be cancer again!

So this day, while my mind swings to its own beat, I will worry and pray — candles lit, prayer beads in hand, legs crossed as I chant.



Picasso’s Progeny

You, the sculptor,
shaped our lives, molded
us into the model
of your desired likeness.
You created masterpieces
with the elder and younger;
they so like the perfect David,
but you are no Michelangelo,
and i, the nucleus of this family,
am not a piece of clay.
i defy your wheel, knife,
the kiln that fires your bloodline.
i take to the kiln my own David,
misshappen like a Picasso,
surreal to you.

© 1996 Iona Nerissa

At a Convenience Store, Writing Poetry

While sitting in a booth, an hour before work, I try to write poetry. But the click, click, click of the cash register distracts the musings jammed into my already clustered brain. And as I try to spill words onto this page, a you child spills her soda, the tawny liquid cascades the patterns of her too-tight T-shirt and falls to the floor ~~ the floor I will mop and mop over again, as sticky footprints retrace the night’s events. And the man, a cigar dangling from the sepia corner of his tightly clinched mouth, growls the angered growl of a wounded bear, bearing all to me and the child who hides behind her mother’s saffron sundress. And in the child’s shame, she raises two, too-large coca cola eyes to meet mine, and then lowers them as a tear trails the shadows of her sanguine face.

© 1995 Iona Nerissa