Amie Herman

The Gestation


The song of my keys jangling in pocket

Lightness in my steps down the three floors from my flat

To the avenue each afternoon.


A sojourn to Yarmu’s Coffee House

To meet Otta and Raul and talk about the events of the day

Or to chat with Teresa from the building next door

We exchange stories as she walks her bull terrier, Mookie

In the tree-lined vest pocket park on the next block

Grabbing the newspaper from Sahid at the corner stall

He grins and nods, his black gloves cut at the fingers

To make it easy to grab my change.


Writing is a lonely business

To build a mass of words on a screen

The discipline of solitude

The effort of carving from the mind

Drafts of work that might never see life.

The rhythm of these simple travels out, then home

This was my daily sustenance

Refueled, inspired, connected

The words came easily, then.


Lately it has been different.

The shifts were swift and seismic

I found myself unsteadied

Otta & Raul couldn’t meet

They were taking Otta’s father to the clinic (something wasn’t right)

Sahid wore blue latex gloves

and kept the window on his cart closed

I smiled and waved (but of course he couldn’t see my mouth for the mask)

Teresa said we shouldn’t walk together anymore

“For our own safety,” she said.


Venturing out, once joyful, became a solemn reminder of absence

The weight of this feeling grew heavier

Like dragging cold, wet stones in my soles.


So, I stopped journeying.

Stairwells silent.

Landings collecting dust.


For seven months (has it been so long?)

I can’t find my way into a story

The words get trapped in my head before they reach the page

Fingers hover above the keyboard but I can’t make them land

I stare at a blank screen (has it been weeks?)

My sleep is fitful – a tangle of strange, unfinished dreams.

A fog seems to blanket the days (is it Thursday?)


But today I awaken with a start --

A sudden, bright, crystalline moment of clarity.


My words rise, surface, flow and shimmer

I write an epic love letter

To Yarmu’s Coffee House

To Otta and to Raul and to Teresa and to Sahid

An ode to the tree-lined park and sounds

Of people I don’t know

and the energy of street life on my block

All of them my muses and my salvation.


I am sobbing, having (finally) birthed this piece

From deep longing

I am vulnerable



Then lightness-- a release

And for the first time

In a great while

I unplug the computer

My screen darkening, my four walls fading

For the first time

In a great while

I am aware of the sunlight from my window

I open the shuttered sash

Feeling the rush of air

Itself, like a rebirth

Spring-like and fresh

The street is beckoning

Time for a reunion, long overdue.


My keys sing in my pocket as I descend the steps

I know the words will come.

Amie Herman is a wine/beer/spirits expert/reviewer, a travel writer, a ceramic artist, and an avid hiker and cyclist and wanderer. She is currently building her own campervan and will be setting off on an epic year long journey to explore North America this fall. Poetry and fiction writing is a passion and she plans to write more of it on the road. You can find her on FB and Instagram @amieswinehouse, website:

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The views and opinions expressed throughout belong to the individual artists and may or may not coincide with those of the other artists (or editors) represented within the magazine. Hobo Camp Review supports a free-for-all atmosphere of artistic expression, so enjoy the poetry, fiction, opinions, and artwork within, read with an open mind, and comment wisely. Thanks for stopping by the Camp!