Anyone who knows the writer, artist and therapist Cynthia Matsakis is lucky indeed. I met her when we were both undergraduate poets at the University of Maryland, where she wowed her professors and fellow students with her fierce, imagistic, lyrical poems. Since then, we’ve read and worked together, co-founded the non-profit women’s’ arts organization Pandora, and maintained a deep and sustaining friendship.
When I saw her prose poem, reprinted below, on FaceBook today, I wrote to tell her how beautiful it was. She replied, telling me that the book she refers to here is the galley of my forthcoming first novel, A Secret Woman and gave me permission to share it. So I’m posting it here with gratitude for our long friendship, for her moving and precise use of language, and for the gift of her presence here on the earth. Thank you, Cindy!
In the middle of the morning, I found myself still in bed, lost in a book, until I looked up from the page and out the window. My bedroom is on the second floor and the window, really two windows, frames the open sky and treetops. I could be anywhere.
This morning it’s snowing, the sky is pearl white, and the calligraphy of interlacing branches is made more mysterious by the chalk white strokes of the snow, drifting in their rhythm. A single bird cries and I turn back to the woman on the page. She is embarking upon a journey that will change everything, I suspect, in her world. And I trust her voice, at this moment, as much as I do the tree and sky.
This is good I think to myself… imagining, for a moment, writing the author to say thank-you, and secretly pacing the words to her rhythms, like the snow is to the tree outside.