Florida Room

Forget how you burned your tongue on the coffee this morning
how your feet were cold against the tile in the Florida room
this one actually in Florida where you are visiting family

Forget that you miss your cats terribly,
all alone in your Michigan home
with no one to cater to their whims all day, only Kenny,
the cat whisperer who will come by each afternoon;
they will pretend they are starving and rub against his leg
until he fills their dishes

Forget that you don’t have a job and probably never will again,
forget jobs, give your work away,
feel the peace of that freedom
Forget that you no longer like to drive yet you still keep a car
feel the peace of that freedom

Forget the pink hibiscus that finally stopped blooming by your house,
notice now the brown and green Florida grass outside the sunroom,
grass that feels so different underneath the rubber sole of your tennis shoe
forget souls, all of them who live inside you but are impermanent like
everything else

Forget the sugar in the pumpkin bread
your mother-in-law bought at Fresh Foods
for your visit, a loving offering to your presence,
accept her gift of sweetness with gratitude

Forget the mess you left in the art room,
the pile of books on the edge of your writing desk,
forget the writing desk looking out at Michigan woods,
you have a writing table today in Florida,
living your portable writing life
looking out at a Clearwater sky

Inspired by In Praise of Forgetting by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach.

Photo courtesy of BakerAluminum.com


14 thoughts on “Florida Room

  1. Oh, LuAnne – I love this one – for multiple reasons. Poetically, I applaud your contrasts between climates and at-home vs. guest. I feel the energy shifting in each stanza.

    About Florida rooms! I lived 17 years in South Florida (West Palm Beach) in a house my husband built with the help of his building-qualified father. We poo-pooed making Florida Room and opted for an uncovered back porch between the two wings of our house (enclosed on 3 sides, no roof). Years later when I could call the shots, that porch got a roof and wall of windows – became our computer room as we’d just acquired the first computer and needed space for two kids and mom to spread out, learn stuff. We never called it a Florida room. Roll forward – 1986 I moved us to Texas, bought an existing house; ten years later added a covered back porch for my cats; ten years more Gary moved in with a jillion potted plants needing to be indoors during winter. Covered porch got glassed in, became “greenhouse”. Sitting out there with the various plants (many stay put year round) I feel Florida-ish again.

    I clicked over and read the referenced poem by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach – that, too, very powerful. Your focus on shifting places (vs. cultures) aligns with my home vs. camping shifts. Isn’t it wonderful that writing can happen in all sorts of rooms/geographies. My journal goes everywhere with me. And if we’ll be gone more than a week, so does the laptop so I can format emerging poems!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful stories, Jazz. My husband had a house in Detroit (if you can believe it) when I first moved to MI and he had a lovely Florida room. I loved it out there and when I finally moved in for the first few months of our marriage, I would get up first thing in the morning and open all the curtains. I loved it. We thought about putting a ‘sunroom’ in our house where we live, but since we have a large box bay in the back, we figured that would suffice.

      I am having a great time visiting here. It’s good to touch base with family. And I still get to have time to write – out here on their Florida room! Good to touch base with you, too, Jazz.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jet. I think a trip down here is just what I needed to give me a creative kick. We walked at Honeymoon Island this afternoon and I thought of you. We saw ospreys, a tortoise, beautiful foliage, and the beach! Last night we saw a lovely sunset along what they call the causeway and watched the sandpipers play and the gulls do their beautiful take-offs from the shore. So I thought you and Athena would have loved writing about and photographing the park. It’s in Dunedin, FL if you are ever in the area. Thanks for stopping and posting your comment about cha-cha-changes. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This deserved a second and third read through, LuAnne. The third stanza struck me the most – absence of job and driving – two things I’ve had to give up, although I am driving again (with limits). All the things we miss with the inevitabilities of life, your words inviting acceptance. Calming. Appreciative. Thanks so much for this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, VJ, for your kind words – and three readings of this poem! I think traveling gave me a new perspective. Yes, giving up the job (but not the work) is inevitable. Giving up driving (but not the car just in case!) is inevitable, too. I feel like I am in an in-between time, guess we always are, and I am enjoying it, mostly. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your lovely comment. Namaste.

      Liked by 1 person

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