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by April Halprin Wayland
I’m suspended in midair
like there’re wings on me
in my lifeguard chair
by the avocado tree
and a quick spring breeze
weaves leaves in my hair
while bitsy birds with fat black beaks
chitchat in teeny tiny cheeps.
A bee buzzes near…
I hold my breath—he disappears.
A toffee-colored hummingbird whirs past me—
he doesn’t hear the clicking of these laptop keys.
It’s clearly spring up here
in my lifeguard chair.
(c) 2011 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved
The story behind the poem:
We live in Southern California; we have a lifeguard chair in our backyard.  Today I dragged it across the lawn under the persimmon tree. I climbed into its wood seat with my laptop and felt as if I were in a tree house. Bright green persimmon leaves brushed my cheeks, a hummingbird sipped nectar from the yellow iris, tiny sparrow-like birds twittered on the avocado tree.  Oh, my.
The magic of poetry, for me, is making order out of chaos.  My jottings were chaotic.  I fiddled with them and placed them on the page in different ways, listening to the beats, fictionalizing along the way.  Then I stepped back to watch the design appear, as I used to watch photos develop in my darkroom–that’s when I get a writing high.  How about you?
It’s your turn. Go outside and sit.  Watch.  Listen.  Write.  Play with rhythm and rhyme!

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