When I lived in Bloomington, Indiana, I became fascinated with the idea of oolitic rock, surrounded as the town was with limestone quarries and filled as it was with limestone buildings. Here we were, living within walls of skeletal fragments, grains of other organisms composed in concentric layers. I’ve carried the idea of those tiny ooids, or spherical granules, with me for years. And then I began to write about my grandfather’s physical and mental decline in the last years of his life. About memory loss and depression and experiences from WWII that kept upsetting him. And that image came back. What grains remain with us? What houses us? What haunts us? How fitting that MSWord wants to autocorrect “ooids” to “voids.” What are the voids that we inhabit?
Thank you to the editors of Alaska Quarterly Review for publishing the poem, “Oolite Lunch,” that resulted.