a blooming possibility

One truly wonderful thing about writing with incarcerated women is that it keeps me writing. Another is that their words humble me. A third is that I generate something to post here even when I seem too busy writing everywhere else to do so.

Last week we offered our ‘inside’ writers some art materials and suggested they create something inspired by our opening poem by Ethel Pochocki,  “The Star at the Heart of Things.” The variety of artwork produced was both widely varied and deeply personal. In fact, I’m creating notecards from them to use in our upcoming fund drive for the program. Mine won’t be used that way, however; so I’m offering it here along with the few words that arose from it after the fact. The medium: string-and-ink with pastel.


My heart is aflame in shades of red, orange, fuschia, pink
blooming in the space of what is
to come, a slow blossoming

in which to unfold
absent the confines of ‘ought,’
follow the greening flow leafing outward, circling back

one single stem buoyant with light and desire
to explore its path risen from the remembered cradle

of a natural home, nestled among the meadows of then
reaching forward, this burning star at the heart of me.


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