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Samantha’s Daily Poem

July 15, 2016

Date night

We booked the babysitter
even though we didn’t have any plans
except not feeding the kids dinner
or getting them to sleep

we got to the restaurant at five o’clock
and told the waitress
we would stay a long time
and leave a big tip

but it was still early
when dessert was done
so we started walking
and ended up at the park
with a view
where the tourists
and the grandparents
and the teenagers go
on first dates

I thought of taking a selfie of us
but instead we sat on a bench
and talked about your novel
and how I am writing
poems again

it felt nice
but we called some friends anyways
only they weren’t home

so we ended up back at the car
where we sat
windows rolled down
and made a list
of the movies
we’ve been meaning to see

I said I wanted more dessert
so we drove to a spot
we’d been once before
only we couldn’t find it
so we parked and walked
and we bumped into
people we knew
and we chatted
before spotting a used bookstore
and as we picked out books
we thought each other would like

it hit me

we’d been nervous
to waste our date night
without a plan

but after the babysitter left
and we stayed up for the end
of a Clark Gable movie
from our list

I realized that’s why
people have date nights

not for excitement
but to slow right down
so the relationship
that has been waiting
so patiently
finally gets noticed
before it slips away
so quietly
they couldn’t remember
what had once
been there.

Posted In: Relationships | no comments
July 13, 2016

Alarm clock

I never click on those stories
the ones about accidents
the ones about kids

but I did this time
read it quickly
thinking perhaps
that if I did it fast
I would slip right past
the sorrow

but of course the grief
pinned me right away
under the weight of the rubble
of all the days he won’t see

it took away my air
as if I had swallowed something
too big

which of course I had
the impossible irreversibility of it

and they didn’t say much
about his family
but I know
I will think about them

on Christmas
on rainy days
on this day
each year

I will buckle a little
but eventually
I will get distracted

but not them

I read once
that people
in the ache of grief
don’t need alarm clocks for years

they want nothing more
than to stay asleep
dreaming of the day
before that day

but the sadness
comes suddenly
each morning
like being stabbed

the streets are still quiet
and she puts her hand
on her heart
where the wound
has opened up again.

July 11, 2016

The housecoat

A few years ago
I decided to spend a lot of money
on bathing suits
black boots
and housecoats

one is obvious
when you’re forty

and the boots
because my other
nice shoes
weren’t nice at all
but gnawed at my toes
as if I was walking
on a pair of

and the housecoat
is thick and soft
and made by Ugg
which somehow made me feel
better about how I wear it
as soon as I get home from work
and for so long
on the weekends

which is how they found me
that morning they popped by
our friends with no kids
looking so

I was eating breakfast standing up
my hair in a side ponytail
that my toddler gave me
but feeling solid
about the housecoat
that cost so much

until later
when they had gone
and I had to look up
who David Hume was
at the same time as I reached into
the pocket of my housecoat
looking for an elastic
but instead found only
a used band-aid
and one small




Hello lovelies. So much has happened. I turned forty-one. I weaned my daughter. We’ve had our best year ever at ECHO and it’s only half done. My back got better and then worse. My son finished kindergarten. I tried to write. I chose sleep instead. So many of you have written such kind things, wondering about me, sending your love. I so, so appreciated it. My creative juices got a little buried over the past few months but other parts of my life got watered. Now summer is here and I can feel the flow again. It feels really good. Thank you, as always, for waiting. xo

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
January 28, 2016


You never see that
not just one little bird
on the road
on its side

but two

their crumpled bodies
so still
they’ve been there
a while

I saw them up ahead
traffic was slow
I hoped they were paper bags
or a pair of socks
and I didn’t want to look
but of course
I do

and my grief
surprises me
because I’ve seen
animals dead
on the sides of roads

it’s that
I somehow know
they didn’t get hit together
but that he must have seen it happen
and yelled
in his sweet bird voice

get up
get up

and when she didn’t
was he scared
of the roaring cars
or did he dive down
to join her.

Posted In: Nature | no comments
January 26, 2016

The small moments

A pregnant woman asked me today
about the poems and the purpose
of savouring the small moments

I told her
it’s about slowing down
the blur

which of course
is not all of it

but it’s not my place
to tell her that the small moments
are not small at all
but the sum total
of joy

she will figure that out
and how the rest of parenting
is just braving the onslaught
and praying there will be
no grief.

Posted In: Parenthood | one comment
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