Living like a writer

Living like a writer
looking throughout the day
for a story to tell
a story only you can tell
telling it, not as an “anybody story”
but as your story.


Maybe I tell
of the $80 coupon
for Crate and Barrel
that expires in 48 hours
so immediately after school
I see the reminder note I wrote myself
and use it to purchase new white dishes
to replace the blue ones we’ve used
everyday for 31 years, come this July.
Blue dishes that fed us everyday of our marriage.

Maybe I tell
of the grammar worksheets
my tutee must complete as homework.
We spend 17 whole minutes
on this mundane task,
googling “demonstrative adjective”
to find out this 22-letter term simply means
this, that, these, those
Then happily we spend 43 minutes
actually writing our own stories
stories with adjectives in our sentences when needed
demonstrative, proper, possessive, quantity and quality
telling our stories.

Maybe I tell
of the carry-out shop owner
who knows I am a teacher
and shares her worries
as I await my meal to serve on my new white plates
about her high school son
who is so afraid of all the drugs at school
too afraid to learn well
and how year after year she asked his school
about his ability
and finally the tests were done
and dysgraphia is his diagnosis,
discovered with just/still 5 semesters of school to go.
“Thank you for what you do,” she sincerely stated
as she handed me my carry-out order.

15 thoughts on “Living like a writer

    • Sally Donnelly says:

      This means so much since you have been reading my writing for probably the longest of anyone! I really appreciate that you take time to read my writing. You’re a good writing partner. AND friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Beth Sanderson says:

    Favorite moments in this slice:
    –“Blue dishes that fed us everyday of our marriage.” I loved the journey to this detail through the Crate & Barrel coupon.
    –I laughed out loud when you had to search for demonstrative adjectives only to find there is a simpler way to explain it…there is always a simpler way!
    Of all the slices I have read this past week, this may be one of my favorite slices so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dianeandlynne says:

    I think there’s another slice about the blue dishes. Isn’t if funny how material things have the power to evoke powerful memories?
    All three of these pieces are thought provoking.


    • Sally Donnelly says:

      I find it interesting how some days, lots of interactions lead to story ideas. Other days, maybe less. I do like how since it needs to be just a slice, I threw all 3 down today. Maybe I’ll return to one to stretch it out…


  3. elsie says:

    I love the snippets of moments of a day all connected by “Maybe I tell. . .” Kind of exasperating to have to google the term for grammar drudgery. I feel bad for the carry out lady.


  4. franmccrackin says:

    You don’t use this kind of poetry very often but it serves you so well here- I can’t imagine this as prose. You offer glimpses into one day that reveal larger vistas of your life and cares and passions. A lovely piece.


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