I imagine a lot of people wonder where the line is between truth and fiction in a poem, particularly when you write in a personal style, as I often do.
Last week I wrote a poem in part about a mother whose adult son doesn’t call her enough:
And though my son doesn’t call me often enough,
there are plenty of people I talk to all the time.
If something bad happens one day and they don’t
hear from me in due time, they can always call my son.
When I told my 26-year-old son Sul about it, he just laughed and rolled his eyes. He knows that being a writer’s son has some hazards. As for the relationship between the poem and real life, I do have my moments of panic and I don’t think my son calls me enough. But what son does? He’s there when I need him most, and even when the need is less great.
Like this past weekend: When I was in his neck of the woods, I called him on the spur of the moment to take some pictures of me. Luckily he was free, so we met at a nearby park. Here are a few outtakes and some photos I wouldn’t normally share. Sul cheerfully did the best he could with my off-the-rack camera with few to any features on it to adjust for lighting. Case in point:
Sul is a tremendous supporter of my poetry and this blog. He encourages me to be as outspoken as I dare to be. He honestly helped me find my voice as a blogger by always reminding me to be myself. In turn, that has helped me as a poet to not be afraid of digging deeper.
I often try to take pictures without smiling, especially if I think I’m going to be sharing them on the web and I’m taking them myself with my camera phone. I imagine it makes me look more serious. When Sul takes pictures of me, he always makes sure to get some of me smiling …
and really smiling …
Sul has a great sense of humor. We always have fun when we’re together and on occasion we’ve been known to act silly:
He’s my heart and the best son I could ever wish for.
© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2013