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Samantha’s Daily Poem

June 15, 2015

The man who got our envelopes



Each day is a fleeting stack
of moments
that replaces itself
like a card trick

the way my son
asked his dad tonight
if those scoundrels
were still bugging him

and how his little sister
blows kisses
at trees

that he asks me
to fill him up
with good thoughts
so that no bad dreams
can get in

and how she says no
all twangy
like a Bjork song

I see now
how my mother
must have felt

sliding photos of me
into envelopes
that she let me drop
into the mailbox

never a note
but the message was clear

how can you bear
all that you have missed.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
May 21, 2015

The big questions



You used to ask me about death
in the dark
in the whisper voice you use
when you don’t want
your stuffies to hear

but now you are
so cheerful about it
pointing at old people
in grocery stores
asking me with some excitement
if they are almost dead

yesterday you cornered me
and wanted to know
if people ever die
the night before Christmas

I tell you people die every day
in a tone that tries to say

death is not scary
but perhaps don’t  bring it up
so loud in public
so you whisper back
with wide eyes

what does Santa do
with their toys?

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
May 20, 2015

Sleepless



It is one of those nights
my bones don’t fit me
my head tossing
my to-do list
like a juggler in the dark

a hum of panic in the quiet
I am stuck
upside down
like a fly
in a web

I nurse the little one
lying beside her
in the pool of sand
that somehow travelled
with her after the bath

then the older one wakes up
a nightmare
about jam

I am a lunatic
soothing another
telling him
over and over

strawberries
can’t feel pain

I end up on the couch
cursing the invention
of decorative blankets

the sun ignores
my plea for more time
dumping a flood
of light into the room

I watch the dust dance
wondering
did it perform all night
or is it twirling now
just for me.

May 18, 2015

Grocery shopping



We have a ritual now
starting with raspberries
which you finish
by the time we get
to the bread

you put them on each finger
like thimbles
and if one falls
you say bird
and I say nothing
letting you believe
a bird will get lucky here

you pick the apples
and I let you point
out the cheese
which you wave at people
saying hallo
after they are long gone

we go the same route each time
a comforting pattern
as though there are tracks
beneath the wheels
of our cart

we are in no hurry
wandering the aisles
while you babble and sing
uncharacteristically outgoing
and yell baby
every time you see one

but my favourite thing
is how you sit facing me
as I push the cart
your legs dangling
your hands sometimes
on top of mine

you look around
and I look at you
leaning in every few minutes
to kiss your nose
which your dad taught you
to point at
and call it a moon

as we near the cashiers
I look at our list
and I ask out loud
what we are missing
and you say

daddy

which makes me all lumpy
and want to kiss
your nose again.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
May 17, 2015

A conversation without words



She shrieks every time
like a little joy grenade
bringing the cup back to me
so I can fill it with water
and she can dump it
in the garden again

it’s a conversation
without words
making me feel
like I have won something
when she says wawa
and I guess right

I tell her to try
pouring water on other plants

she looks at me
for a long moment
then dumps it again
in the same spot

I watch amused
as the earth grows swampier
in that corner

I am calmed
by the simplicity
of her delight

and then she says
duh duh duh
so I remind her
that daddy is away

but she shakes her head
duh duh duh

so I point to the door
and then a dog in a book
and sweat a little
until I guess right

duck

when I bring it down
from the bathtub
she places it carefully
in that flooded puddle of soil

duh
she says with a huge smile
making my heart bruise
with the realization
that when I saw monotony
and called it sweet
she was actually building
her duck
a pool.

Posted In: Parenthood | one comment
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