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Samantha’s Daily Poem

November 24, 2014

Why I write



I don’t write to remember
that when we drove past
the electrical tower
you said

look, it’s the Eiffel Tower

I write to leave crumbs
so I can find my way back
if I need to
at the end
for a moment
to inhale
that time
when my life
was big and new.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
November 23, 2014

The meat section



We’re at the grocery store
and you point to the meat section

what animal is that, mama

it’s been a long time
since I ate meat
but I can tell it’s a cow

but cows aren’t pink

you say this quite loud
and for some reason
I feel the need to whisper
the part about the blood
and then I smile
at the man beside me
who buys the lamb
and doesn’t smile back

you ask me what he bought
so I tell you
and you want to know
which one is the chicken
and do they sell roosters too
and where are the pigs

so we look at all of it
up close
pressed
under plastic skin
and your chin
starts to quiver

what if these are mamas
and their babies miss them

but suddenly
your face brightens

they probably
die the families at the same time
so they stay together
in the store

I say
you are probably right
and we finish our shop
holding hands.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
November 22, 2014

Allergic to shy



You’re wearing a black wig
and a piece of felt around your head
as a witch hat

you had big plans to dress up
for our trip to the library

to show the librarian
that you were pretending to be
the character in the book

but then you realized
that everyone would see you
and you say

I’m allergic to shy

I laugh
which makes you stomp
and throw the shoe horn
you were using as a wand

so I apologize
right into your ribs
which I tell you
is a shortcut
to your heart

and I ask you
where you learned
about being allergic

you remember mama
at the aquarium
that girl told us
she was allergic
to selfish.

Posted In: Parenthood | one comment
September 25, 2014

My four-year-old poetry teacher



My brain is jammed
with the noise of errands
and the poem knows it

half-done
hiding away
in the quiet
of my ribcage
waiting
for a way
back in

which is how I came to see
how the noticing
pours out of you
blunt and new

like the colour of the girl’s hair
in your drawing
that is neither brown nor blonde
and you tell me
it is like a paper bag
which of course it is

and how you describe
grandpa’s face
as mushy
and that a frog
would feel like a bird
if you held it tight
in your hand

and how nuns
look like Red Riding Hood
in black and white
and how library books
smell like closets

so I kept asking
and the answers dropped out of you
obvious as stones
each one a lesson
in what it takes
to be a poet.

September 15, 2014

Working from home



I have a meeting with a graphic designer
who I also consider a friend

but still

I text her to say I’m running late
and she should come right in
and then it occurs to me
that she might hear the hum
of my breast pump
from downstairs

so I text her to tell her
what I’m up to

I add a lot of exclamation marks
to make it seem funny
or at least less awkward

but when I read it over
it appears as frenetic
as I feel

then the baby wakes up early
so we try to make her happy
by letting her chew
the graphic designer’s pen
while we try to unpack a conversation
out of a knot
of interruptions

I make her a cup of tea
which she can’t drink
because the baby
is in a lunging phase

but I use words like
priority
and we stuff budgets
into the quiet
between the crying

so I feel it’s gone well
overall
and I’m silently pleased that I remembered
the meeting at all

and then she says
in the kindest voice

I think you have a black bean
on your collarbone

and of course I do
which I pick off
and only later
do I wonder what she thought
when I ate it.

Posted In: Parenthood | one comment
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