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Samantha’s Daily Poem

January 15, 2014


Another shooting in a school
and I am surprised
at how quickly I punch
my sadness out of the way

I want to yell something
that will make a difference

I want to scrunch his life
into a ball and start over

I want to punish the world
for keeping an eye
on gravity
and not us

they don’t need my rage
but I cannot get soft
enough to grieve

I hold my baby
tell her she is loved
and beg
that it be enough.

January 13, 2014

King-size bed

They sell you
the king size bed
and they say
you won’t regret it

but what they don’t tell you
is that there is a lot of room
for things like umbrellas
and today when I woke up
beside felt pens and a hat

I asked my son
who lay between me
and his sister
if he could please stop bringing
objects into our bed

to which he cradled the blue felt
like an orphan
and asked me
didn’t I know
they get lonely.

Posted In: Parenthood | one comment
January 12, 2014

A good lesson about smothering

It only took a few minutes
we were in the same room
divided by the couch
I was making lunch
and couldn’t see you
but I heard you humming

when I walked over
at first I couldn’t see your sister
wondered if I’d left her upstairs
but then I saw them move

a mound of tea towels

I checked that she was breathing
and then demanded to know
what you were doing
to which you explained
about the pancake party

I tried to enunciate
the part about what did pancakes
have to do with tea towels

which made you get that patient face
where you wonder how
you got a mom so slow

they’re Band-Aids
it’s a theme party

I must have looked mad
because you looked guilty
and I felt better that at least
we’d logged a good lesson
about smothering

until you said softly

sorry mama
that we didn’t
invite you.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
January 11, 2014


If you’d seen me tonight
drinking from a mug
in the dark
staring at the rain

you would have decided
things about me
that have nothing to do
with how raindrops
don’t race each other
down the window
like we thought as kids

they cling hopelessly
their slippery faces
sliding away
before they have finished
watching me.

Posted In: Nature | one comment
January 10, 2014

The IKEA trance

I realized last night
as I wound the displays
oscillating between
sedation and impulse
that he is the richest
man in the world
not because of living rooms
made of particleboard
but because he built stores
with no clocks
where we wander for hours
quietly optimistic
about the lives we will lead
quietly pretending
that outside
these tall walls
there is peace.

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