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Samantha’s Daily Poem

January 8, 2015

The day you don’t ask me

I wonder what the day will be like
when you don’t ask me
to kiss your hands
before I leave
and then try to pull them
off your cheeks
pretending they’ve been stuck
with glue

or when we don’t do
our hand signals
for I love you
through the window

or three jumps in a row
popping in and out of sight

will you forget to ask me
to do the waltz
on my own
singing I Could Have Danced All Night
from My Fair Lady

or will you remember
but quietly decide
to spare yourself
the spectacle

how long will it last
that soft ache
of saying nothing
both of us knowing
these things have come
to an end.

Posted In: Parenthood | one comment
January 7, 2015

Nightly ritual

Your cry stops
when I open the door

I lay down beside you
make my body a bowl
that you fold into

the milk flows
so easily
I forget
to be amazed.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
January 5, 2015

Captain Hook

Your dad came out to the car
to help me with the groceries
dressed as Captain Hook

I shouldn’t have been surprised
since the night before
you smacked your forehead in bed
like an old sitcom
and said

mama we totally forgot
to do the poster
for our play

your dad is wearing your red housecoat
a tea towel around his neck
and a black velvet miniskirt
as a wig

I suspect it is universal
submitting to these plots
deserting our poise
with the other breakable things
we put out of reach

taxi drivers

all of them
like your dad
eventually find themselves
later in the day
talking on the phone
a business call
an important tone of voice
forgetting that their socks
are still pulled up high
like a pirate
over their pants.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
January 4, 2015

The Santa card

We’ve taken down the wreath
and the Christmas lights
but I can’t stop using it

the Santa card

for all my resistance
to a religion
about a judge in the sky

I am like a preacher
about the other bearded guy
we never get to see
and his list of naughty and nice

he’s always watching you

I say several times a day
and your dad looks at me
like he’s wondering when
a horrible person swallowed me

I tell you that it doesn’t count
if you’re nice
just to get presents
but if I’m honest I really like it when you’re nice
so I don’t pry
which is what made me cry a little
when you gave your sister
a gentle kiss on her head

when you didn’t know I was watching
looking up to the sky afterwards
to say

Santa I hope
you wrote down
that I just did that
for love.

Posted In: Parenthood | one comment
January 3, 2015

The tangled earth

You shuffle around the house
in your boots and coat
even eating like that
all bundled up
in your high chair
bits of porridge stuck
to your hood

you bring us your socks
your mittens
your hat
balanced on the top
of your head

or sometimes your dad’s hat
which covers your eyes
and makes us all laugh

we thought you just liked
to dress up
until you began
standing at the door

you want out
you want down
you want to rub your stare
into the tangled earth
making sense and delight of it all

and so this morning
as you bring us your coat again
and we say
as we always do

in a little while, sweet pea
we have to eat first

you must wonder
as we would
if there was a million dollars
sitting outside our door
what could possibly
hold us back.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
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