Take Poems as Coupons

Apr 10, 2020

Today’s title came to me as I was waking up. Possibly as I write I will explore what it means. I had a jumbled dream with so many layers it took me a few minutes to unpack it this morning. Sheree Fitch was present throughout it which probably accounts for the line I am using as a title.Yesterday I listened to a piece on CBC about dreaming during a pandemic. Now anyone who knows me knows my dreams are bizarre,pandemic or not. But layer by layer I saw remnants of the day I had yesterday. When talking to my daughter on the phone last night she observed I was a bit wound up in a good way. My ordinary day of being home which followed pretty much the same routines I have been following for weeks and in some ways for years had highlights I was bursting with. I am not going to analyse my dream or make layer by layer comparisons but I know the overall theme. I considered changing the line to songs are coupons but I think poems and songs are interchangeable. For sure they are if we are talking about John Prine’s songs.I peppered my day with John Prine videos starting with the one I mentioned in yesterday’s blog. I listened to When I Get to Heaven several times , sought out various versions of In Spite of Ourselves and cried over Hello in There remembering my nightly phone calls to Dad.One line in When I get to Heaven moved me to tears. Perhaps I was especially teary .He said when he gets to heaven he’s going to find his mother’s sisters, that’s where the love started. Oh how true that felt to me. My mother’s sisters, now all gone ,were such a source of love and identity for me. I immediately felt the urge to call my cousin Karen and am so glad I did. She and her husband have come through some major health challenges in the last three months and I was not aware of that. Our mothers kept us connected with the news and in some ways we have dropped the ball. I loved our long chat.I chose a different route for my walk heading down across the road and down the wood road past Chapin’s house. This used to be a well traveled road for my walks but I haven’t gone as far as I did yesterday, for a very long time. Each turn felt so familiar and so deeply entrenched in my emotional memory. I walked by what we call Zac’s camp which actually was the little shed we built and moved into when Zac was two.Zac and his friend Tim moved it way down the wood road when they were teenagers. So many stories fill that little shed which is now crumbling, rotting and returning to the earth.I brought Meg home to that little shed 38 years ago and quickly realized we were going to have to come up with another plan. The macrame crib I had designed and began making to hang over Zac’s bed ( not CSA approved I’m sure) was never finished. We bought a trailer and lived in it while we built our big house. Meg asked me if I cried when I saw it. I did not but I am crying now.My first thought was making sure Chapin’s kids knew not to ever try to go inside as the structure is unsafe. I saw Chapin and the kids on my way out and was thrilled to say hello ( haven’t been able to visit with self isolation) and was assured that Chapin had told them never to go inside the old building.So back to why yesterday was a day of joy and elation. Poems as coupons, love as a deposit , a memory reservoir to draw from. A day spent feeling the benefits of those coupons, that deposit and diving into that deep reservoir is a day to celebrate. A night dreaming of cousins, my Uncle Bernie,my childhood home in Fredericton, Ashlie,Sheree Fitch and her granddaughter Emma,and a plan to use poems as coupons seems all good to me.Happy Easter!


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