The Book of Strange New Things

Somehow I got the kids both to school in record time with very little complaining. It’s the first day back to school after what seems like a very long Christmas break. And it was raining!

We love rain and the stormy skies—despite being a rare hydrating treat, this weather makes us all think of England, recalling tangible elements of a different world that once was ours. I love mornings like this, even pre-coffee. Morning routine, ridiculous in its start-time is good for us all…a different kind of ‘togetherness,’ where everyone quickly finds their role and sticks to it more or less. We’ve come a long way since school started in August. It took me months to find the groove. Then again, Vernon was dying those first weeks of school, and this little break was drama-free, other than a couple bouts of cold.

On the way back to my car after dropping Justine, I reached into the pocket of the puffer coat, which hadn’t worn since November’s trip to England, and found a few coins. How fitting! England is staying with me this morning.


So in light of that, I’ll share something I wrote there that I don’t believe I’ve posted here yet…I’ve kind of been meaning to anyway.


I’ve got you in my pocket

A little piece of flint, smooth on one side, rough on the other

that I found on a beach Kent…

where we never ever were together.

A broken shell that looks like a pigeon

if I hold it up to the light just right

A Union Jack pin for our daughter’s first grade backpack.


Pockets get worn, jackets outgrown,

fragments of fluff, chipped bits of stone.

The anchors lines are fraying—

whatever ties you to the earth.

Soon there will be no substance

but what I carry in my heart.


(An Alien Landscape—actually, I am the alien here. Ramsgate, UK)


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The Book of Strange New Things