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Samantha’s Daily Poem

May 10, 2014

The calculator in the cutlery drawer



I put my slippers on
and find a family of plastic people
living inside them
like refugees smuggled
by ship

our house is stuffed
with these kinds
of surprises

the necklace I thought I lost
poking like a snake’s head
out of my filing cabinet

the calculator
in the cutlery drawer
and all of our spoons
in the bookshelf

the village you built this morning while I slept
tents made with the baby’s diapers
post-it notes for a yellow brick road

all of it so careful
I can picture your face
as you assemble these nests
serious and lost
in the tiny world
you are sewing inside of our own

I am going to make
an extra set of keys today
a gift to all of us
for some future day
when I will ask you

did you do something with mama’s keys

and you really won’t remember
only some vague notion
that they weren’t keys at all
but dinosaur bones
or a volcano
some critical piece
of a story
that soared and now
is gone.

Posted In: Parenthood | one comment
May 3, 2014

Let It Go



The last few evenings
your dad has asked you
to play catch

and we don’t say it out loud
but we know he’s doing it
not because you want
to play catch but because
you don’t

I’ve heard it from other parents
the dresses
the jewelry
the scraping of short hair
into pigtails

it’s probably a phase
and even if it’s not
we’re open
we really are
but there’s no denying

it would be a harder life

which is why
when your dad came in
from a run yesterday
and asked you

hey bud
could you teach me
how to do dress-up

and then last night
when he stayed up learning
the chords to
Let It Go

I sang along
as loud as I could
to that anthem
of little girls everywhere

I don’t care
what they’re going to say
I’m free
.

Posted In: Parenthood | 3 comments
April 27, 2014

The synonym game



We play a game in the car
about synonyms
and I know we are thinking
the same thing

our kid is super bright

until we pull up
at our friends’ house for brunch
and he declares
how funny it is
that so many words
are made
with cinnamon.

Posted In: Parenthood | one comment
April 25, 2014

Why there are mothers groups



I forgot the pace of this stage
the goopy churn of hours
the edges of the day worn thin
with repetition

and how unsatisfying it is
to read to someone
who can’t sit up
and wants to eat the book

I forgot how no one really cares
about the fleeting victories
like how long she slept
or how she turns
when you say her name

but they fall out of me anyways
in conversation
like awkward gifts
people thank you for
and then return

which I suppose
is why there are mothers groups
fleets of women like me
with spongy lives
bonded by the triviality
of our days
and this love
wondrous and unwieldy.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
April 23, 2014

The lies we tell you



I think about the litter
of lies in your head
and how you love them
over and over
like pets

the Easter bunny
for example
and how I got carried away
and now you think
he has elves too

or how you trust
that everyone will live
to be a hundred

but for some reason
when it comes to films
we are blunt
your dad stopping every time
to show you the special effects
like where the witch
falls through the floor
and how Oliver’s voice
is dubbed by a girl’s

we must have thought
we were being wise
to pull back the curtain

and so my heart
dropped off its perch last night
when you caught a bit of the news
and said to me
with a relief
glued tight to your face

isn’t it great mama
that bad things
don’t happen
in real life.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
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