Understanding Mis/Understandings: National Poetry Month, Day 17

Half-way into the original post (I was at the laundry) I hit the wrong key then the really wrong key & lost my great beginning to this post. 

A few minutes ago I picked up a wine glass and immediately dropped it on the kitchen counter. My last wine glass shattered. When was the last time I had a glass of wine in my own home? 


Two years ago I broke a wine glass in someone else’s home. Their home. Their glass. It was an artistic breaking. That breaking was nothing like the most recent breaking. This new post is nothing like the last post. 

On Tuesday I opened my front door for the first time in weeks. Weeks ago, I opened my front door to show the exterminator the places I thought the wasps were entering from. He said the holes were just shifts in the house. He pointed & I looked up, made eye contact with a robin nesting. I maintained eye contact for so long the robin flew off. I shooed the exterminator into the house, followed him & shut the door behind us. I hadn’t opened it since then. On Tuesday, I heard the Ikea delivery van pull up, so I opened the door. Then the screen door. Which I opened wide. Looked down towards the stool, which I would use to prop open the door and saw a baby robin. Dead on the front porch. The Ikea delivery truck had parked. The men were opening the truck’s back door, preparing to bring my possible future child’s crib in. One box of unconstructed crib pieces. One mattress. One mattress pad. Three white sheets. Five white towels. A baby robin no feathers that had fallen out of its nest. 


The wine I am drinking was the most expensive bottle on the shelf. It was on sale. The wine tastes like the most inexpensive jar of grape jelly. The kind that tastes like sweet not like grapes. 

My earlier posts began something like this: When I think about misunderstandings my mind lingers on mis- the sound so much like miss. I know mis- is not miss but misunderstandings are so often about missed opportunities. To listen. To hear what has been said. Today my typed words (figuratively) written beneath by someone who misunderstood my words; intentionally. All of the words beneath the lines. Not my words. Not my intent. An opportunity to hear me missed. Deliberately. How sad I thought to be the person who writes between someone else’s lines just so they can have something of their own to read. 

A week of irony and misunderstanding and omens. 

I hope I’m being clear enough here so that you understand
who will get this poem and who will not.
I can only be as honest with you as I am with myself
in the effort, the raw motion, to tell why
you may or may not understand this poem.  

–Amy King



After I broke my wine glass I sat to have my take-out dinner, dinner I bought so I could relax prior to cleaning my house for a writer friend who will arrive after midnight. What happens to the mind when it scrubs to hide the truth: my life is too busy for domestic chores. I ordered against my usual order. I wanted something new. Until I arrived home, my mouth ready for my usual order. Beside me, a package my staff associate handed to me hours ago. The note said the most important thing: I hear you; I listen. That is all we ask, as humans, to be heard, to be understood. Thank you, dear Chelsei. 

Enjoy the rest of that sprawling Amy King poem. I have a guest to prepare for. 


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