Artist | Writer | Therapist


writings on food, the creative process, on how to be in a relationship with myself. writings even on writing. 

"You don't have to heal and change at the same time."

This poem was read aloud both at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center's "The Round" on February 13, 2018 and on "The Appetite" podcast, in a bonus episode set to release on March 7, 2018. It was written to be read if you want to hear it read to you like it's storytime...check out the link below and hear me chat about the process.

I don’t have a poem
about roses or peonies.
How each tightly bound bud
layer after layer after layer
blush pink or crimson
unending complexity—
a floral portrait of what I’d like to be.

I don’t have a poem
about the tree above my backdoor
fresh winter fruit
and orange blossoms along the floor
I don’t have a poem
about wringing out their sweet scent
from the bottom of my shoes—
a clear sense of home as I’d like it to be.

I don’t have a poem
about something beautiful or right
syntax, sandwiching specifics
or some meticulous metaphor molded between cappuccino sips
I don’t have a poem
that I wrote because I finally knew
where to start with my grief,
what went wrong, and how I’d like it to be.

Because I have work days,
that are long days
that wring me out and wear me thin
draining all my resilience for someone else’s kin.
I have no poem about the elegance
of laying resigned on my couch watching Freaks and Geeks,
Tate’s cookies and old Christmas nuts on repeat
how I keep forgetting numbness isn’t how my heart wants to live or be.

But I have Christopher in my ear,
saying to me,
“You do not have to heal and change at the same time.”
Reminding me I can sink my teeth into not knowing a thing
I don’t have to heal
and change
at the same time.
I may change from doing all this healing
But healing does not come simply because of some bold change
I have time.

- Carter Umhau 

Carter UmhauComment