Iowa Writes

DIANE KOLMER
Moments


I miss working at the capitol.

Convolution the daily milieu.

Faces key to delight.
           Shirley of the copy hut,
                     Linda of the law library,
           angels both,
and of course the other ones,
           making the magic place what it is.

The basement door leading through a forgotten hallway
           to a steep staircase
                      that ushers me
           and the smell that-must-be-lunch today
                      up from the cafeteria
           into the bright rotunda.

I stride across the marble floor,
under cotton clouds and a robin's egg blue sky
painted in the tip top of the cupola,
holding up the
                      American flag
           brilliant
against a surreal sparkling sky.

Uncertainty yields anticipation.
Even when the day will be
                 quarrels and discord,
                            the mantra,
                                       "...let's see what happens next."

I miss working at the capitol.

Convolution the daily milieu.

Faces key to delight.
           Shirley of the copy hut,
                     Linda of the law library,
           angels both,
and of course the other ones,
           making the magic place what it is.

The basement door leading through a forgotten hallway
           to a steep staircase
                      that ushers me
           and the smell that-must-be-lunch today
                      up from the cafeteria
           into the bright rotunda.

I stride across the marble floor,
under cotton clouds and a robin's egg blue sky
painted in the tip top of the cupola,
holding up the
                      American flag
           brilliant
against a surreal sparkling sky.

Uncertainty yields anticipation.
Even when the day will be
                 quarrels and discord,
                            the mantra,
                                       "...let's see what happens next."

That solitary walk across the mosaic floor
with my Ferragamo steps
           as I pick up the bill packet,
                      say hello to the early crowd
and then
           step into the ultimate repository of all things legal
           and otherwise.

I open the 20 foot Titanic doors,
           reminiscent of a greasy spoon or elegant gin joint,

and swoosh into my corner of solitude,
                      make notes,
                                 make calls,
                                            make promises to myself,
           and others
                      that may
                                 or may not
           be kept.

Bills piled according to status:
           urgent,
                      what's this?
                                 don't think so.

The serenity of that lawful citadel,
           making the black and white crisp pages
                      even more perfect,

a satisfying process to cull the day's language
           bringing order to my day.

I look for my next gulp of air.

I go back,
           out,
into the percolating sound,

like being delivered
           down
a long playground slide and
           standing up
                      in the midst of
a chattering recess frenzy.

Swirling around,
as in a bubble
created by the reverence for this unique historical law library,

           broken
           once I step outside
           into the humming
           chaos
           of my day in the rotunda.

I miss those moments.

more

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


DIANE KOLMER

Diane S. Kolmer resides with her husband of 28 years, one dog and two cats in West Des Moines, Iowa. She retired on disability at age 42 due to multiple sclerosis. At time of disability retirement she was a lobbyist for U S WEST. She grew up in Ames, Iowa and wrote this poem as part of The Patient Voice Project.

The Patient Voice Project (http://artshare.uiowa.edu/pvp/index.html) offers free creative writing classes to individuals with chronic and mental illness in the Iowa City area. Created by students at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and Arts Share, the classes are conducted in both one-on-one and group sessions and are intended for all age ranges and ability levels.

This page was first displayed
on January 26, 2011

Find us on Facebook