Across the Spectrum, Poetry Archive

Creativity Interrupted

Read three sentences, check my email
Oh that’s a good idea, I’d better write it down
it’s too quiet
Rush down the stairs
Everything is ok this time
“Can I have some tape?”
Searching for the masking tape in the closet.
Found it
Not in the tape box, but hooked around a jar of crunchy peanut butter

Decide to finish making the hazelnut thumbprint cookies
Think about writing this poem of creativity interrupted by motherhood
Motherhood as a creative
Creativity as a person with ADHD
All three things existing chaotically inside of one person
The swirl of the chocolate forming a kiss on top

“Mom, I can’t do it!”
Look at what the middle is doing, paper folded into a homemade envelope
Oh crap, he’s knocked over the water
The only thing I didn’t clear off the table from the afternoon snack,
But the tablecloth had stains from the turmeric latte he had spilled earlier in the day,
And hot chocolate stains from where the middle knocked over her cup during snack
So it would have gone in the wash tonight anyway.
So actually this is fine.

Do you see the sky?
Yeah, an airplane.
She’s on the floor with her paper, frustrated
“He ruined it!” she cries.
“Are you okay? Are you okay? You’re loved.”
“Not on the table, sweetie.”
A be-diapered baby crawls to me
“Do you want to listen to some music?”
Turn on some soup, notice the cookies
Only two left to drip with the chocolate, almond butter filling
Back to the poem, actually writing it this time

Check the soup again

Put some bread on the rack in the oven to toast
Toss it!
Ok, I need this cookie
“Halloween, halloween, jack-o-lantern burning bright” plays in the background.
Refresh the email
Check the email?
Why haven’t they responded to the email
Take a break to scroll Twitter
Do all this with your eyes fairly open.

No more lines, I’ve forgotten my place
Today I am scattered but unbothered,
Somedays I am enraged at the interruptions, constant, frequent and inane,
The no me-ness to my life.
Those days are more frequent after little sleep
But even now as I lay with a sleeping baby suckling under my arm,
contorted on my bed with my arms t-rex style, the laptop balanced on my chest,
I am ok.
I am finding flow in the bursts and space I give myself,
I ask from my husband,
I make the kids aware of my needs as I ask what theirs are.
And sometimes they come to me for a quiet hug or say we will keep the music low
because we know mommy is working
Uninterrupted time is a dream, a distant memory, a black swan for me,
There are only the moments between moments.

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Filed under: Across the Spectrum, Poetry Archive


Alison Leigh Jones is a creative born and raised in Chicago, now living with her husband and three children in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has forthcoming publication in Ditto Kids Magazine, and is a 2022 Kweli Journal Fellow. She writes novels, essays, poems, articles and to do lists with equal zeal. Her work