the pros and cons of writer’s block

I don’t have writer’s block.

Because that’s when you can’t write.

Where your mind is a crevasse, a pit, a canyon–

Deep and vast and empty.

Vultures flying overhead,

scouring for bits of creative roadkill

left among the dust and heat.

Circling, swooping, diving

On a mindless, endless loop

Of absolutely nothing to say.

 

I don’t have writer’s block.

Because my mind is not a canyon.

But a chalkboard in a first-grade classroom

Filled corner to corner, top to bottom

with only two letters.

Or a typewriter with just two keys–

Two options, two choices.

I hunt and peck just like the vultures,

but there are only two letters for me to find.

Of the 21 consonants and 5 vowels in the English language–

the language I learned to speak by mimicking my mother as an infant,

the language I learned to write poetry in by copying my mother as a young girl–

Of all the letters she taught me,

Only two are within my reach.

Two alphabet neighbors,

Making one precious word:

M-O-M.

I’m an artist with only two colors.

I’m a musician with only two notes.

I’m a daughter with only one parent.

Because M-O-M is gone.

 

No, I don’t have writer’s block.

Because I cannot block out grief.

And I cannot block out angst.

Or flashbacks.

Or nightmares.

Or the swelling of my stomach when I miss her more

than having 24 more letters to work with–

Than having something else to say.

 

I don’t have writer’s block.

Because I can write.

I can write anger.

I can write devastation.

I can write longing.

I can write memory.

I can write her.

I just can’t seem to write anything else.

 

I don’t have writer’s block.

But there are some days

I wish that I did.