Fred Meijer Center for Writing & Michigan Authors Who May Never Publish Books But Will Get a Better Idea of What “Flow” Even Means

In the morning, the center is quiet
with the stillness of the neatly arranged tables
contrasted by the wilderness in the windows

Until new consultants file in.

Coffee-driven to climb out of their dreams,
this reality is filled with excitement and anticipation
to service writing and self-efficacy

And maybe, if there’s time, build relationships.

So with papers sprawled and pens scribbling,
the roar of conversation buds and blooms
with torn sheets flying up from pads and

Falling to the ground like leaves.

In the lulls, the silence is brief
as the water cooler clicks too direct;
conversation growing out of insight

And connections made over Tootsie Rolls.

And there’s questions, and struggles, and answers,
And Pat, and Lisa, and answers,
And calling, and ringing, and answers

And the wilderness freezes outside

As the work grows for consultants on both ends
From class-to-work-to-class-to-home and back
It’s the candy on the cabinet the brings us back

To the day that student was excited

Hands up for ideas and found theses
A snap and a shout for, “Well done.”
And Hemmingway’s niece? Overwhelming!

As, overhead, the sun rolls on.

And there are panics and breakdowns in time
Broken hearts and shattered minds
But we return to the solace of the center

To find, in our search, inner peace.

And the warmth will return through our windows
like crawling squirrels and chattering birds
as our mailboxes fill with new letters

And faces become familiar friends.

Our dreams shift from grad schools to comic books
and we mark on the walls and our hands
the hours we’ve enjoyed together.

And the other days… where have they gone?

The center will come to a close
as the monitors whir into silence
and we’ll leave with our names intact

Ever-changed inside and out.

But this new home, an old place of living
will settle in peace at day’s end
with the stillness of the neatly arranged tables

Waiting for our return once again.

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