My friend, Elsa, is a poet. Not only does she write beautiful lines of prose, but she thinks in them.
One day, she told me the story of an incident at her daughter’s apartment complex. A wife had come home to find her husband inside their apartment with another woman. As Elsa told it…“She ran down the stairs, but couldn’t outrun what she saw. She unlocked her husband’s truck and pulled out the tire iron. As her heart was breaking, the glass was breaking. As tears ran down her face, beads of glass slipped down the sides of the truck.”
Everyone else I know would have told the story like an Enquirer article. Apparently poets are hard wired.
Elsa was married for twenty years until her husband began using meth. He took a job as a truck driver and began using to stay awake. In the end, it completely messed up his wiring.
She fled the violent, paranoid stranger her husband became and has been living with her daughter for the past year. Saturday, she went to put down a deposit on her own apartment. For the first time since her days at university, she will be living on her own.
All the people who know and love her are chipping in. Furniture and household items are being stored in my garage until moving day.
The last time we went for coffee, Elsa confessed she hasn’t written in two years. Existing in “survival mode” has kept her poetry in prison. “La vida es dificil,” she said sadly. Life is hard.
I’m currently reading the book, God on Mute. It is full of stories of unanswered prayer, and dares to explore why. I can’t think of a single person I know—including myself—who hasn’t lived through God’s silence. Life is hard.
I don’t know where Elsa’s path is going to take her. This isn’t the life she thought she would be living. I do know that whether or not she writes doesn’t change who she is. She’s still the woman who thinks in beautiful stanzas. Stanzas I hope get put to paper again.