For two years I've been hammering away at a poetry chapbook. I changed the title several times, and it has lengthened from 15 pages (the version I sent to a chapbook contest, which I am glad it didn't win) to nearly 50 pages. It had begun with a poem I wrote about our son, which was the first poem I'd written since my beloved husband had died, which didn't have the shadow of my grief cast over it. I thought that my gratitude for the times I had spent at the Wild Animal Park with our son throughout his life was a good entry point for the new life I was trying to create for myself as a widow. At some point, I decided to ask my daughter Mary, who had been an English major and who had started to work for a Ph.D. at UCLA, to look at what I had written so far. At another point, I decided to include some quotations from Song of Songs (or Canticle of Canticles) in the Old Testament. Mary took her "assignment" very seriously and began giving me some in-depth critiques of what I had written. She suggested I take out some of the poems I'd included. In the beginning, I resisted many of her ideas, but as I began to trust what she was saying more, I started to listen and then act upon what she recommended. Then she told me that I needed to expand a section about one of her sisters. Next, she commented that I should write another poem. After I did that, she told me I should write one about meeting and falling in love with my husband. That was bittersweet and difficult to write, but she was right. I thought of adding some other poems I'd written, but she pared those down. Then she told me to write another poem about my husband's death. I rebelled then, but eventually gave in. She kept adding to what I needed to write, and in the background, we had a running battle over the ziggurat which I had made the central structure and theme of the whole chapbook, which she kept telling me I needed to take out. As I added more of the layers that she had proposed, I could gradually see that the ziggurat was in fact out of place; some day it may be its own poem, but I had to deconstruct it out of the chapbook, and set a more biblical scene, primarily Jerusalem. She gave me a few more poems to write and I wrote one of them. Then she told me I still needed to write the other one she had suggested. I countered with the fact that the "Way of the Cross" was implicit in the poem I had written about the Biblical scene set on the road to Emmaus, but she kept pushing me on the second one. Finally, the day after I had my second Covid vaccination, and she gave me flowers to celebrate what one of my grandchildren calls my "Super Power," I sat down and started to write "Via Dolorosa." It started as many of my poems do, as a tangle of lines thrown on the page just to get my ideas down, without much rhyme or rhythm or structure. My ending image involved a window, but I couldn't seem to make it work, and I wasn't getting anywhere with rewriting the whole poem. Finally I mentioned to one of my coaches that I was thinking of actually asking Mary to give me some advice on the poem before I'd proceeded any further, which was contrary to how I have worked on any of my other poetry. She encouraged me to go ahead and call Mary, which I did as soon as I finished my call with her. I read the last bedraggled lines of what I had so far and explained what I was trying to do with the window. She agreed that the idea of the window didn't work. I asked her if I should use a door. She paused for a moment and then said, "What about a portal?" Since the title of the chapbook is "Portal of Light," it was as if she had turned a key in the whole body of work and it illuminated the direction I should go. I started with the end of the poem, which I also have never done before, and reworked it from there. I set a timer for 20 minutes so I wouldn't be overwhelmed, but by the time it rang, I was immersed in Kairos--that sense of time out of time--and I worked steadily for three hours and had a completed poem at the end of it. I emailed it to Mary, and later that evening, received her response.