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for Paul Fericano and so many others


I turn first to the chapter
on techniques for broken wings.
I learn of contour splints and anchor tape
and reasons why most broken wings
should not be completely immobilized.

I am not so unlike an injured bird.
Struck down by grief, I too, am unable to fly.
Even walking, I find I’m off balance.
I’m best treated without an audience.
I heal best with absolute calm.

I was unsure at first why my friend
would have sent me—along with tea,
chocolate, crackers and sweet biscuits—
a book on “kitchen healing:”
how to treat injured wildlife at home.

But there beneath the image
of a simple wing break, I read,
a sentence like a prophecy:
“Nature starts the healing process
almost as soon as the injury occurs.”

And I feel, to my surprise,
the tender places where the bones
of my wings no longer protrude.
And though my joints are rigid,
with supports, I’m recovering.

And I am thankful for all the hands of friends—
unskilled, untrained, yet willing to try.
Hands that send letters and blankets
and feathers and books. Calm hands
that help heal these fractures until I can fly.


*Quote from Care of the Wild Feathered & Furred: A Guide to Wildlife Handling & Care by Mae Hickman and Maxine Guy (Unity Press, 1973)

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For two hours, I am the woman
who works at the orphanage, the woman
who falls in love with a man from India
who is not who he says he is.
He and I make love for hours beneath a mirror,
twining our limbs in a sea of silk,
and he shows me the pleasure
of losing the stories I’ve told myself
about what is possible with love.
When, after many pages, we arrive at happily ever after,
I find myself on the couch in my kitchen,
notice my own thick legs curled beneath me,
my own raw heart in my tired chest
doing its faithful work. I’m surprised
to return to my own story:
the woman who is grieving—the woman
in the empty room who listens
for the voice that isn’t there, who listens
for the footsteps that do not come.
I am the woman whose son took his life;
rewrite: I am the woman still learning how to love him.
For the last two hours, I had forgotten her,
had forgotten this woman whose story I know as my own.
I had forgotten the ache she carries,
the constant throb. Though it cuts, though it wounds,
I am so grateful to return to her life,
to her story—the story of how she gave her everything
to someone she loved, how she knows he loved her, too.
Though their story isn’t one she had wanted to live,
it’s the story she would never give up, not a second of it.
He is still teaching her, even now, even now.
Such a gift to be this woman being rewritten by love,
love with its infinite ink. Even now,
she meets the next blank page of her life.
Love holds the pen.

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One Memoir

 
 
these beautiful thoughts
old pages turned yellow
every word still true

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One Stuck

this infinite book of life

and me still re-reading

chapter one

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Going Home




Today I am so grateful
we are the characters
who go on a journey
and learn to find the bravest, best
and kindest versions of ourselves,
even when the road is beset
with Lestrygonians driving white Range Rovers,
especially when Charybdis tries to merge
into our crowded two-lane sea
after driving in the eddies of the emergency lane
to bypass the long lines,
yes, we are the characters who learn
that we are responsible for our own soundtrack
and must sing to meet each moment,
must be our own sirens calling ourselves
again and again and again
to crash only on our own shores
then sail on more carefully, more purposefully,
our song all the more joyful,
more determined, and yes, more alive.

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Off the hot street and down

the narrow stairwell,

I entered the smell of books—

a musty scent of paper and ink.

How I loved entering the stacks,

shelves taller than I was.

Loved running my hands

along hardcover spines

wondering at the worlds inside.

I was allowed twelve thin books,

that meant twelve chances

to travel to realms where monkeys

stole hats and the Whangdoodle snoozed.

Twelve chapters in which I

was no longer an awkward girl

but a baker in an old village

or a mouse in an attic befriending a girl

who was something like me,

or at least like the girl I wished I could be,

a girl who was brave, a girl

who couldn’t help but stumble

every single time

into happily ever after.

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One Endless Supply

slipping again

out of those same dog eared thoughts

faded rose petals

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“Here Rosemerry shows us how one might endeavor to be the peace we want in the world. One comes away remembering that tending is at the heart of all healing. Because thorn bush. Because great blue heron. Because puddles.”
— Wendy Videlock, author of Nevertheless

Hush Front Cover JPEG

My new book, Hush, is just out! Winner of the Halcyon Prize for a collection of poems about human ecology, it’s a book-long love song to humanity and the natural world. It’s driven by curiosity and a willingness to dance in the unknown. The poems celebrate the broken, the lowly, the humble, the parched, the lost–and find beauty at every turn. And it features a fabulous foreword by Craig Childs, author of Virga and Bone, Apocalyptic Planet and The Secret Knowledge of Water.

You can see the book and purchase it on my website–and I will sign it for you! Or of course you can order it from your local bookseller (please support them) or from Amazon.

And you can hear me read a few poems from it in this reading I did a few weeks ago with Danusha Laméris and James Crews.

I totally believe in giving poems away—as you know—and I will continue to send you poems every day. AND, I would really appreciate it if you would support this poetry practice by purchasing a book. It would mean a lot to me.

Also, if you do order Hush, I would really appreciate it if you would consider writing a review for it on Goodreads or Amazon.

If you want to set up a reading for your organization, send me a note!

love, Rosemerry

“With Hush, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer once again turns her attention toward insights gleaned from daily life, trusting that everything we encounter, from evergreens and bluebonnets to snapdragons and an achy back after shoveling snow, has something to teach us about being human. Throughout each of these exquisite, open-hearted, often sensual poems, she brings us along as she finds a kind of “renegade beauty” wherever she looks. “Let’s go outside,” she writes, “and praise/the light till the light is gone, and then praise the dark,” modeling for us just the kind of radical gratitude we need in our literature, and in our lives right now.”
— James Crews, editor of Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection

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Finding Her Spine

 

 

 

not just turning the pages

of her life to the next chapter,

but choosing to leap

out of the pages

into a new book

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Just One More Page

 

 

 

so eager to turn

the pages in my novel, I neglect

the pages of my life

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