SOL18: An Ode to the Slices I Didn’t Write

For the first time in five years, I am NOT celebrating a month of slicing. Despite a record number of snow days, despite staying healthy, posting a slice every day eluded me. That’s not to say I haven’t been writing. I have. I just couldn’t get into a groove with slicing.

Photo by Aaron Burden via Unsplash

Even though I didn’t participate in the challenge on a regular basis, I did want to post something today. But as I drafted a few ideas last night, nothing clicked. Then, this morning, I read my friend Linda Mitchell’s Poetry Friday post. Linda had used Gary Soto’s “Ode to Pablo’s Tennis Shoes” as a mentor for a poem she read at a friend’s Bar Mitzvah. This was exactly the form I needed for my end-of-March slice.

Ode to Lost Slices

They wait in my notebook
half-baked, embryonic
ink-smudged
at the edges
where I feverishly
scribbled ideas
before they evaporated,
my attention grabbed
by a bird at the window.
Some thoughts made it
to page, to screen
to you (who are you?)
Others are gone,
out of reach.

Now it’s the end of March.
I sit at my desk, listening
to the birds chittering
it the treetops, grateful
for warm sunshine.
My ideas, friends
who flutter through my brain
are whirling.
I should not have slept,
But I did.
(Wisps of dreams
still cling to my hair.)

I want to tame
my thoughts,
still wild
and winged,
capture them
on this page
where they’ll make
some sense to me,
to you, a friend,
to whomever stumbles
across them in
this vast universe.
I love writing,
polishing ideas until
they shine, then
sending them out
to fly on their own.
But I’m distracted.
I skink into my chair.
My eyes sting
from the harsh words

that inundate our world.
I need eight hours (days?)
of peace and quiet
to let ideas settle,
grow their flight feathers,
and soar.

Thank you to StaceyBetsyBeth, KathleenDeb, Melanie, and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and each Tuesday throughout the year. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

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12 thoughts on “SOL18: An Ode to the Slices I Didn’t Write

  1. This is a beautiful poem, Catherine. So many perfect images…dreams tangled in your hair this….. captures a mood I so can relate to. I yearn to join this group whom I know I would love, but feel tugged in too many places. I think this poem should live its own life. Ideas that flutter. Your reminding yourself not to sleep, the pain of the world that at times is too much. And more. I want to savor and save this. Have you ever thought of a chap book?
    Janet Clare F.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your ode is amazing, beautiful, so you! I want to weep for those lost slices, the words that didn’t make it out into the world. Yet, I rejoice for these words, the ones that speak to me and make me glad to know you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your ode is amazing. Two years ago, I wrote sporadically. Last year I wrote mostly. This year I did write every day but it was not consistently my best writing. Your ode mentions “distracted” and I know that may be a factor in your challenge of settling into a writing rhythm. It sounds like there are MANY slices waiting to be written. I hope to be lucky enough to read them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad you posted on this final March day. Love your ode… especially these lines: “They wait in my notebook / half-baked, embryonic / ink-smudged / at the edges” I wrote a slice every day… yet there are ones like these waiting in my notebook.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your ode is beautiful, Catherine, and I’m so glad you shared it here. There are so many lines that leap from the pages that I can’t pick a favorite, though the image of wisps of dreams clinging to your hair is simply fabulous! But so is the idea of you taming thoughts to capture them on a page…and so on and so on.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a gem of poem and a perfect way to end March…
    I want to tame
    my thoughts,
    still wild
    and winged,
    capture them
    on this page
    where they’ll make
    some sense to me,
    to you, a friend,
    to whomever stumbles
    across them in
    this vast universe.
    I love writing,
    polishing ideas until
    they shine, then
    sending them out
    to fly on their own.
    But I’m distracted.
    I skink into my chair.
    My eyes sting
    from the harsh words

    I’m with you Catherine 🙂
    Bonnie

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gorgeous poem, Catherine. I sliced for the first time last year, every day… I was on disability, in a wheelchair no less, and was determined to make the “wait” worthwhile. Like you, I want to write, I yearn to write, yet I wasn’t able to make any breakthroughs. Thanks for sharing – here are the words that spoke to me (and were added to my notebook):
    “…capture them
    on this page
    where they’ll make
    some sense to me,
    to you, a friend,
    to whomever stumbles
    across them in
    this vast universe.
    I love writing,…”

    Liked by 1 person

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