On Labor Day weekend of 2009 my boyfriend and I took a trip to Washington, D.C. when we had only been together for six months. It was our second out-of-town getaway together; I was excited to show him our nation’s capital, as he had not visited prior to us meeting.
Our first stop of the trip was to tour the United States Marine Corps Museum in the town of Triangle, just south of the District. Being the Friday of Labor Day weekend, we figured it would be packed shoulder to shoulder, but to our surprise, it was nearly empty. Snagging a spot on the next available tour, we ended up being two of seven people in the group. We got lucky too – our tour included a Korean War veteran, who was there visiting the museum with his family and was happy to share stories of his own while we walked through the museum. It was so surreal, hearing stories about places memorialized in the museum straight from one of the brave men who happened to be present during the historic events and standing right next to us.
After the tour, we headed for the city to check into our hotel room and hang out for the night. We ordered room service and watched Metalocalypse on his laptop. It was a perfect start to our trip.
The highlight of our visit was exploring the National Mall the next day. While walking around the Washington Monument, he put his hand on my shoulder, stopping me from walking forward, and said “hang on a second…” He starts to get down on one knee and I see a couple in the distance stop watch us. The woman slaps her man’s arm excitedly and starts pointing as us, with a wide grin. I remember my mind started to race with thoughts like “oh my god is this the moment, this can’t be the moment, we haven’t been dating long, what do I do, oh my god!”
You think you know what’s coming next, but you don’t. (more…)
Orange groves garnish
the south Florida countryside,
so far and so wide.
A girl of ten plays hide and seek
with the trees north of Lake June Road.
Running through the dirty blonde sand,
she stops to grab a fresh bite.
The juice trickles down her chin…
she tosses the peel, hoping
that Farmer John doesn’t catch her.
At sixteen she had her first kiss,
under the early spring blossoms
blooming. Lying in the sand,
wrapped ever so tight in his arms,
believing their love would last
forever… or at least beyond
the first unwelcomed winter frost.
At eighteen, the time came to say
goodbye – her studies took her
miles away from her cherished
groves. In Minnesota, she
found solace and solitude
in a quiet apple orchard.
At twenty-two, she met a new
love and shared with him her orchard.
This is where her forever
indeed began. Lying in
the meadow, she took him in and
tangled together, they counted
the stars that twinkled the north sky.
At twenty-four, she made the trip
home to the sandy groves. She
took a stroll to reminisce…
Closing her eyes, she caresses
her belly while thinking deep –
her new forever will arrive
in just a few months down the line.
Saying goodbye to the
the grove, she grabs one last orange,
takes a taste… goodbye.
This poem went through 7 days of revision, guided by a packet given to us by our professor for our “X-Treme Revision” poetry project. Read the original version here on Versification, my poetry Tumblr. I really feel like it has really come a long way, but I don’t think it’s finished. But then again… are these things ever finished? I may just put this one away for a while and see what happens the next time I look it over. So, if you’d like to give me some feedback, please do in the comments below – I really enjoy hearing your thoughts and any advice you may have for me!
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be composing a case study on my revision and will describe in detail what went into changing this poem. Once that’s turned in, I’ll be sharing it (at least a condensed version if not the full thing) here, in case anyone is curious about how the process went for me.
I have become obsessed with the song “Better Days” by Eddie Vedder lately. The lyrics really spark something inside of me – makes me want to further explore my beliefs. I have been struggling with trying to figure out what I believe in (religion-wise), because I’m realizing my views are changing drastically. As I grow older and wiser, I’m beginning to branch away from the religious views that I was indoctrinated with as a child. Although I’m not too sure about what I really believe in anymore – if anything – I’m starting to question and explore other ideals and beliefs. I was born and raised Catholic, but now I would say I’m more Agnostic and questioning. I am not sure I’m ready to open that can of worms at this time, but stay tuned – that’s sure to come soon.
This song may not have much to do about the above paragraph, but when I listen to it, I feel that I am right to question my previous beliefs. I feel there is something else out there that is a better fit for me, and the universe will help me find it if I just open my mind… I’m ready to explore and open up. I’m ready to “greet myself, read myself.” I love my life and am very happy with the way things are going, and I know they will only get better. I will find my answers eventually. My future is definitely paved with better days.
I wanted to share these lyrics with you. I also included a video (from the movie Eat, Pray, Love). Enjoy!
Better Days, Eddie Vedder
I feel part of the universe open up to meet me
My emotion so submerged, broken down to kneel in
Once listening, the voices they came
Had to somehow greet myself, read myself
Heard vibrations within my cells, in my cells
Singing, “Ah-la-ah-ah, ah-la-ah-ah”
My love is safe for the universe
See me now, I’m bursting
On one planet, so many turns
Singing, “Ah-la-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah-ah, ah”
Fill my heart with discipline
Put there for the teaching
In my head see clouds of stairs
Help me as I’m reaching
The future’s paved with better days
Not running from something
I’m running towards the day
A whisper once quiet
Now rising to a scream
Right in me
I’m falling, free falling
Words calling me
Up off my knees
I’m soaring and, darling,
You’ll be the one that I can need
Still be free
Our future’s paved with better days
Meet the Author
I’m Nicole, a writer and melomaniac. To feed my soul, I pen poetry, prose, and the occasional blog. To pay the bills, I'm a Scrum Master in IT.
From my personal thoughts, poems, and opinions to writing tips and tricks, you’ll find a random mix of content on my blog.
Grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable - please join me for my long, strange trip through life!