Getting There Is Half The Fun

Thinking about change is as much change as changing direction

Are you ready to act? Do you need a place to think?


Our trials we can amend

those that touch the bone

when we share with a friend

we needn’t live like stone.


How long it is we nurse a hurt.

So visibly it gathers dust.

We feel it still, still feel the ache.

Our attention will not avert.

Old wounds acquire a toughened crust.

We long for miracles to make.

How long we live with tightened fist.

The help that hovers we resist,

‘til finally through rainbow mist:

a spirit takes us by the wrist.

At last, alas, although we fussed:

we see that life has taught us trust.

— © Melissa Severance 2014

Grump List

On the list of what can

mess up fun:

when someone makes an


Some see something and then

jump the gun.

They’ve got you wrong, it

does grump one.

— © Melissa Severance 2012

Has It Ever Seemed as if You’ll Never Get There?

When I was five I went to bed one night thinking about what it was going to be like when I turned six. I imagined that I would be walking down the hallway wearing a tight skirt that would rub against my knees a little bit especially when I went upstairs, and that I would be carrying two to three hardcover books. This was my best guess of what it would be like to be six, and I couldn’t wait. When I turned six, I did go to class down a little stair case, but I still wore frilly dresses that weren’t at all tight around the edge, and couldn’t feel the hem when I walked. (I am old enough that girls were required to wear dresses even in the winter.) I remember being disappointed that I didn’t have to nor get to carry a single book down the hallway that year. Any books that we used, we kept in the classroom. I felt thwarted and cheated as if something unnatural had happened, as if the sun hadn’t risen, or the robins hadn’t returned in the spring.

Skip ahead many years. I was thirty-six, and married. It was my first day of graduate school. A few weeks before, my husband and I went shopping at the Har Mar Mall for clothing for me, as I was going to have to be a little more professionally dressed, but we were broke. I got a deal on five wool suit skirts in assorted colors with lining and side zippers, and three sweaters for $93. We bought them for the price not the style; it was a bargain. On my first day of class, I had worn the most fitted of the five skirts which happened to be gray, because it went well with the blue-green sweater, my favorite.

It took a long time to find a parking space, so, late to class, I ended up rushing down the hallway carrying two rather large hardcover books. As the skirt edge touched my knee slightly inhibiting the length of my step, the image of being five years old, dreaming of being six, entered my mind. I was wrong by thirty years: but the image was correct. All the way back at age five I had an inner image of myself as a woman, the way I wanted to be: studious, organized, humane, as I had turned out. I was off by thirty years. We’re usually off in how long something takes to occur. I notice so many people doing what I did: because of not realizing how long something takes, expecting to grow thirty years’ worth of growing in only one, and then being sad about it. This is the good news: these images are as right as the sunrise. Be patient: you may catch an image of the way you will become, and you’ll be growing that way no matter what.