Friday, January 15, 2010

Henrietta (Haiti)

“I write too fast,” Henrietta said yesterday, coyly, as she handed me a thick, crunchy stack of papers.
“You have a lot on your mind, don’t you?” I said.
“Yeah, too much. I’m glad I can clear my mind here,” she added. “But it’s hard to read, I know.”

She has told me before that her wrists act up when the weather gets cold. For the most part, her handwriting borders illegible. She and I really have to guess our way through the pages, which all contain poems. She doesn’t usually remember what she’s written so she asks me to make it up with her as we read it together.

“My blood pressure is really high, the doctor said. He just gave me extra medicine for it.” I was looking down at the pages when she suddenly said this. I looked up. She had tears in her eyes. Just a little. And her voice was a little shaky. “I’ve been watching TV and the news on Haiti upsets me, it makes my blood pressure rise. I go to turn off the TV and turn on the radio. And then the same news come on the radio. So then I turn off the radio and open my notebook. This. Is therapy.”

Greetings from Henrietta Faust writing to say, I am
Feeling for Haiti. And I want
To do something to help Haiti.
But. There is Nothing I Can do.
So I’m writing to say how I
Feel. I am so glad there

Is the writing workshop.
Imagine. What it would
Be like without the senior center?
So I’m writing also to Thank

All the readers and writers.
So keep reading and writing.
Keep writing, everyone.