Carolee Sherwood

the sun, m-expletive f-expletive

So! Winter? Totally survivable so far. No one is more shocked than I am. It’s a gift, and I’m thrilled.

We’ve had a couple really beautiful snows. Enough to cover the ground. Pretty, but not burdensome. I took the picture to the right on my apartment steps yesterday. We had a few intense bursts of snow, the giant flakes. Giant! And then the sky cleared. It was so beautiful.

And the temperatures? So nice! We’ve had a couple of cold days, but not the unbearable long stretches of single digits/below zero we usually get. Today, in fact, my car said 55 degrees (a highway billboard said 49; I’ll take either one).

It almost doesn’t matter to me what that groundhog does: I can survive six weeks of winter even if it regresses to our traditional winter. Winter last year seemed like six months, so six weeks? I can do this.


Of course, everything’s a metaphor. This winter, which is easier than last winter. A fraught commute to work. Flowers on my kitchen table. Even the sun (maybe especially the sun), which my ex has claimed as the symbol representing his new life.

When I allow myself to be really angry, I slam things around and grumble about him ruining the sun for me. I imagine screaming across the river, “You can’t own the sun, m-expletive f-expletive!”

(That probably wouldn’t be a bad therapeutic exercise, come to think of it.)


The photo above is from our Annual Tom Natell Tribute and Beret Toss. Once a year, the monthly Poets Speak Loud open mic is a memorial for an Albany poet I never had the chance to meet. I can say it’s quite a shame: if he was anything like the rest of them, we might have been friends. This poetry scene is part of my extended family. I adore each of them. And you, too, of course, dear poets of the interwebs. :)


When I woke Sunday

through my window come
to touch my sleepy face, the sun.
And I did not think of him,

didn’t doubt morning
as anything but unconditional
and full of love.


It’s just a poem bit. Just a piece. That needs work. But it’s something I’ve been trying to do when I want to vent about something on Facebook (what a terrible habit) or whine in my notebook: turn it into fodder for a poem. It’s nothing new to poets, of course, but the exercise at this particular time in my life — and at those exact moments in which acting like a 13-year-old would be incredibly satisfying — is instructive.

It gives me a chance to pause and reconsider. I don’t mean change my mind about how I feel. I mean sit with it a bit. And make my own fucking metaphors.