Counting and What’s Counted On by Robyn Hunt

“Counting and What’s Counted On,” by Robyn Hunt, Waves Anthology: A Confluence of Women’s Voices


Nothing thicker than a knife’s blade separates happiness from melancholy.”
(Virginia Woolf, Orlando)
I know for sure: 1 I am married. 2 I own a home. 3 I write poetry – creating metaphor where others claim they cannot. 4 I have a daughter; she lives elsewhere now. 5 My grandmothers, both storytellers, lived well into their nineties, and in one case, to be 104.
6 I can give myself permission to do and be all things. 7 My hair is turning grey. 8 My sense of direction is reliable. 9 My upbringing included prayers and hymns, neither of which I can recite entirely now from memory but recognize at times when others arrive, singing.  10 There is more inside of me that desires to be written. 11 I am capable of juggling many things. 12 I don’t always trust others. 13 My writing life was once torrid.
14 I love shades of pine or fern, turquoise or cyan, resembling the wave of the earth around me. 15 My daughter is learning so many things as an adult. 16 My husband gets irritated but we sort it out. 17 I am more often doing what others are not. 18 This latter is both exhausting and exhilarating 19 I can dance.
Not so sure about: 1 How to respond at times. 2 How to be silent. 3 The botanical names of so many trees. 4 How safe the water at the edge of the sea. 5 My memories. 6 If I were
to color the shape of rain falling, would it be indigo? 7 Would you see its inky cloaks with me, such streaks?  8 Capturing the entire sensation. 9 How to sweeten  the bitter/how to let the bitter remain. 10 Breaking the chain of more of the same.
11 History of continental invasions, and the politics of men.  12 Whether I can shift to another place, rooted in this high desert that I long for when away. 13 Direction back to the beginning where I swayed without limitation. 14 Sustaining confidence. 15  Scaling the wall and dropping. 16 If I can swim back, quickly. 17 How to tell my grandmothers’ stories, evasive hummingbirds against the backdrop of piñon trees, for my daughter to truly witness them. 18 Handling the switchbacks up the pink mesa at this altitude (slowly and with intention). 19 Reaching the water in time. 20 Whether the waves will flood my home if I open the windows wide.
Know for sure: 20 The waves will flood my home; I will open the windows wide.



Robyn Hunt lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico and attended the AROHO 2015 Retreat.  Her debut collection of poems is The Shape of Caught Water, Red Mountain Press. “{Counting and What’s Counted On is} In response to a Waves Discussion speaker who urged that we put to paper twenty things you know for sure and twenty things you’re not sure about… It’s this surety, coupled with its questioning, that is my all too familiar and personal dance.”


Author: A Room of Her Own

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