I left it sitting on the kitchen table next to the other mail. I'd only had a chance to quick read it before stepping out. When I came home, my husband was home. He'd seen it. Not only was it the first August postcard, but it was handmade.
I hadn't told him anything about the August postcard project. In fact, I only stumbled across it the day before it began. I like poetry. I write it. I like travel and postcards and sharing. So, I emailed the person in charge and asked if it was still possible to participate. Luckily, he agreed to add me.
The August Poetry Postcard fest works like this. Each participant receives a list of 31 names and addresses of other poets and each day in August you write a poem on a postcard and send it to the person that follows your name on the list.
So that first postcard had arrived. Ironically, it was from my home state. Pennsylvania. It was made from cardboard with a nice poem on one side, a abstract painting in gentle hues on the other side. I felt bad, because the first six days of August had already passed. All the postcards I'd sent were store-bought, and this person took the time to not only write a poem but personally craft a postcard for me. Well, in my defense, I did try to buy interesting postcards.
As we're taking our evening walk, as we do almost every day after dinner, my husband mentions that he saw the postcard. I explain the postcard poetry project to him and recognize that look in his eyes. I know what he is thinking. So, I say, "Think of it this way. It could be worse. Some men marry nerds who spend their time taking part in poetry projects. Others marry women who spend their time and money shopping." He responded with something like "Yeah. You're a nerd but I love you anyway." He said it jokingly and probably in the back of his mind he added rather a nerd than a bitch or a ho. Okay, maybe. Maybe not. Who knows what goes on in the male mind? Or in any other person's mind for that matter. And, sure, he'll probably never "get" poetry. And I'll probably never "get" some of his interests. So it goes. But as much as we love spending time together, we also need our time apart doing things we love. So each day I write my poem, put it on a postcard, and mail it to the next person on the list.
Today I received my second postcard. It, too, was handmade. What is wrong with these people??? They are making me look bad!! I really wish I had the time to make my own. I'd print postcards with my photographs on them.
One other aspect of the project I haven't mentioned is this. The idea is to respond to a postcard poem you receive but send the response to the next person on the list and the others on the list will do the same. Unfortunately, since most of the people on my list are located in various states in the U.S. (I also have an address in Ireland) by the time most of the postcards travel overseas, August will be over. It is already August 14th and I just received my second postcard. So while I can write a responding poem based on this one, many of the others are just written to a prompt I find online or based on something from my day. They're rough drafts, so they aren't my best work. But it does get me writing and thinking and I can either revise them later or expand them into stories. It's a starting point.
*and a note to all my poetry friends...please don't be offended by the nerd reference. We all know the stereotype and I am using it here jokingly. You know I love all of you.