Picture These Words

Or …. 3 Things That Made Me Speechless This Weekend


I finally got around to reading Nikky Finney’s National Book Award winner for poetry.  I wish it hadn’t taken me so long.

If I have to pick favorites in this collection, I’m going with “The Condoleeza Suite,” followed closely by “Plunder.”

I’ll be reading “Plunder” again and again.  To hear her.  To figure out how she created this story out of the story.  To admire.


Someone said “bootstraps.”  As in, people need to pick themselves up by their own bootstraps.  At best this saying is a physical impossibility, and at worst it is pretentious and dismissive.  I never know how to respond.

Remember this from Jane Smiley’s A THOUSAND ACRES?

What I remembered was the labor of it all, a labor as impossible as standing in your boots and lifting yourself into the air by the bootstraps.


I went poking around Facebook and saw this 1966 photo of my birth father and his siblings.  Part of the conversation that takes place below the photo reads like this:

Who is that little baby sitting on Lee’s lap?

Terri Lynn.


This is the first and only photo I have ever seen of me with my father.  My husband asked me how I feel about it.  All I could say was, “I don’t know.”


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