I Wrote This On Purpose

Leo’s homework the other day was to write about someone who has shown perseverance.


I wanted to fill in the “This is How I Feel” section of the page for him, but they didn’t have any “demoralized” smiley face.

I’ve finished the third draft of my novel and feel released from it. Part of me wants to say, “Welp, got that out of my system,” and move onto something different, like yodeling lessons. But the part of me that writes all the time keeps writing all the time, and while the writing is beautifully without purpose, a grating voice in my head keeps yelling, “BUT WHAT IS THE POINT OF ALL THIS?!”

Since I only have little patches of time to write during quarantine, I’ve started writing poems about my childhood. Sometimes as simple as this:

Door Knocker

We had a cross-shaped knocker
on our front door that said
Peace to All  Who Enter Here,
written in teal and fuchsia and gold
and all the letters leaned into each other.
I loved to knock it
even though it was my house
and everyone knew it was me.

Sometimes there’s a bit more to them, like this:

Baby Chicks

We hatched our own chicks that year
in an incubator in Dad’s study.
We checked on the eggs
in their warm, yellow world
until there was a crack,
then a beak,
pink as a fingernail,
then a brand new chick,
wet and skinny and worn out. Then—
Peep! Peep!
The tiniest sound in the world,
fragile as the ting of a wine glass.
When properly fluffed,
we cupped them in our hands and
looked into the shiny black pool of their eyes
that they struggled to keep open.
The smell of freshly hatched chicks
was comforting as the smell
of freshly baked bread.

When the chicks came,
our house felt warm,
like it was an incubator
and we were all newly hatched.


I don’t know, but I do know if feels sooooo good to write about real things that happened to me instead of making stuff up out of the blue about something I know nothing about. Part of the purpose is to help me make sense of my childhood, I guess. Part is to fulfill my need to put words, any words, lots and lots of words onto paper every day. And part of the purpose is to find the purpose of all those words.

You tell me there doesn’t have to be a purpose. It could just be for the fun of it! To which I say…


Anyone who knows me well knows that nothing I do is just purely for the fun of it. Everything always fits into some bigger plan. I don’t feel I have to apologize for or justify that part of me anymore. I’m old enough now to say that’s just how I am and I’m good with it.

Maybe the purpose of this blog post was to say that out loud.

(Or maybe it was to get out of washing dishes tonight. It’s really a toss-up between the two.)

Leftovers (Thai food and baked potato soup)

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