“Home” by Kristen Ringman
I don’t feel home anywhere
after losing it, after the shipwreck. We move
from place to place. It feels better to move. It reminds me of the sea.
I wake each day with disappointment I pretend
can be cured with coffee or friends, with your small lips
nursing my breasts, the way you ask for
“yogurt and granola” every morning, without fail.
Every day, by mid-day,
I fail myself—I give in to
the anxiety of loss—
But I don’t want to fail you, my
son, I don’t want to fail our family,
I don’t want to fail me.
So I left. I flew to the desert—to the red
rocks that have never touched the sea
like we have touched the sea—
I retreated to the dry hills of the mesas. I prayed to Virginia Woolf,
Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keefe. I prayed to the lovers I’ve had, the lovers
I’ve lost. I prayed to the teachers chasing rainbows, leaning their heads back
because they could hear the thunder from above echoing the thunder from within.
And I’ve decided, everywhere
is home—even the red rocks, the knowing
in a fellow woman’s eye, your hands trying to spell words and
only making funny shapes. I am moving my hands.
I am spelling out my dreams, spelling the word
“home”, again and again—
Telling myself I am there already.
Like the women carrying thunder,
I carry the sea.
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Kristen Ringman Artist Statement:
Kristen Ringman is a deaf writer, wanderer, and mother. She is the author of
Makara (Handtype Press, 2012), a literary lyrical novel about the deaf daughter of
an Irish selchie who falls in love with a girl in South India. She received her MFA
from Goddard College in 2008. Between her undergrad and MFA programs, she
lived and volunteered in India, Kenya, and Ireland. From 2009-2011, she lived with
her partner on various sailboats and sailed between Block Island and Key West.
Kristen currently lives in the woods of New Hampshire, but plans to teach her son
by flying and sailing around the world. Her latest writing project is an adult magical
realism novel called Twenty-Seven Nadines about a deaf wood nymph who falls in
love with twenty-seven versions of a German artist and follows her around the
world. Read more about Kristen here: http://kristenringman.com.