Nov. 19: Garret

As a kid, reading about writers
starving in a garret, I never thought
I’d have one—not starving…
I could not write without snacks
at hand—hummus and veggies,
peanut butter cups, sunflower
cookies—but a garret.

Now here I am with three others
writing up a storm on a sunny day
in a chilly attic room up too many
stairs with the two space heaters
going. I’d plug in the third, but then
we’d risk blowing a fuse, as my
father used to say, though I’m
pretty sure we’re long past fuses
in this place—

a long-ago auto body shop
converted into an arts complex
for theater and poetry and my
little upstairs-no-elevator-space—
where writers gather to chat
and eat (we all write better fed,
I’ve learned) and yes,
write their art out.

I used to call it the garret, but
the friend who lured me here,
having set it up for writers
and later turned it over to me—
she called it the loft, which
sounds cozier.

But on a November morning
the week before Thanksgiving,
it feels garret-like after I climb
the stairs, unlock the door,
turn on the light and pull open
the drapes. I hurry to plug in
the space heaters, set the kettle
to boiling for tea, arrange snacks,

a bit giddy, always, expectant,
ready for people to arrive,
to write what needs to be written,
and be delighted, when we read
aloud, by the warm gift
of unexpected magic.

The loft with Krista Minard writing and our late friend Heide Juchnik’s circa 1899 dictionary standing by.

About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor
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