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Samantha’s Daily Poem

August 15, 2016

Loose ends

Treat your muse
like a lover

and I don’t mean
flatter it
or be at your best

creativity is meant
to be ragged
and real

you are married
to that part
of yourself

that flirty elf
that quiet hum
that sudden roar

so don’t expect
it to be perfect

it will get it wrong
and let you down

but you are in it together
so be patient
be yourself

but whatever you do
don’t be lazy

the magic
that stitched you together
early on
eventually frays

so you need to hunt
for the loose ends

and carefully
to sew.

Posted In: Creativity | 3 comments
August 12, 2016

Mrs. Sam

They have been quiet
in their bedroom for ages
so I finally pull out my novel

I am in the middle
of the first page
when they thunder out

she is in a dress
and a yellow raincoat

he is wearing
his dad’s swim trunks
and a tweed hat

they tell me I can keep reading
because I am the teacher
she is a girl named Rosie
and he is Rosie’s dad

they’re pretending
it’s Rosie’s first day of preschool
which is actually coming up
for my daughter in a few weeks

my son says
pretending to be her dad

you’ll cry so so much
but then you’ll forget
you have a mom and a dad
and then they pick you up

I am about to interject
but she seems satisfied
with this explanation
and he is already
pretending to help her
put her jacket away
in our cutlery drawer
which he says is her cubby

I don’t get any more reading in
because he tells me
I should give Rosie
a snack

I don’t mind
because I’m lost
in how sweet it is
that he is roleplaying
this milestone in her life
before it happens
and I think about how
my therapist friends
in particular
will be impressed

which is when
I hear the loud coughing
and a thump
from the bedroom

my daughter and I run in
and we find my son on the floor

are you ok

I yell
and he opens one eye
and whispers

you have to tell Rosie
I drank poison by accident
and now I’m dead
so she has to stay
at the preschool  forever

my daughter takes my hand
and walks me back
into the kitchen

can we have cereal for snack
Mrs. Sam

she asks me
and I don’t know
what else
to say
but yes.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
August 10, 2016

The cozy parts

She lies in the dark
folding her small body
into mine

her hands and feet
push and press
like kneading dough

I suddenly feel fat
I want to turn over
and suck my stomach in

but then she says
in a sleepy voice

mama, your best
are the cozy parts.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
August 8, 2016

The balloon

You should have been asleep
an hour ago
but you were hungry
and then thirsty

and you kept playing
with the balloon
you got at the party

putting my sunglasses on it
and my hat
and dad’s headphones
which did make me laugh

and now you insist
you’ll only sleep
if balloon
goes to sleep too

so you make a bed for it
on the floor
out of towels
which keep falling off

and at first
I play along
tucking balloon in
and kissing
his blue head

but the seventh time
you tell me
the covers
on top of balloon
aren’t working

I yell
it’s just a stupid balloon

and I know
right away
the night
has won

so when an hour later
your tears now dry
balloon cuddled between us
in your bed
you ask me to tell you both
another story

I kiss balloon again
and whisper

this one’s for you.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
August 5, 2016

Cake at midnight

It’s almost midnight
and the hotel room
has the charm
of a dorm
but it’s clean
and I appreciate
the little bottles
because I haven’t had time
to buy my own shampoo
for years

I tell my body
it’s time to sleep
but it doesn’t believe me

like an elastic band
I have stretched myself
across states
and time zones
and despite trying to grip the ground
I keep snapping back

I’m not hungry
but I don’t feel complete
because dinner
was lunch
after all

I scan the room service menu
like a lazy lion
might drool his gaze
across the plains

warm lava cake

I know I will have it
as soon as I read the part
about the caramel sauce
even while I try to convince myself
it’s wrong

like those places up north
in summer
where the sun refuses
to clamber back down
at the end of a day
making the middle of night
bright and strange

but I hit the button anyways
and a man with an accent
takes my order

I immediately want to cancel it
or call back and tell him
to leave it outside
the door

but there he is

he’s in his seventies
and his uniform
is wrinkled

I tell him to leave it
by the TV
which feels worse somehow
and I give him a big tip
but still he looks at me

I know he is wondering
if I am bulimic
or crazy
or both

wow I’ll never finish that

I blurt out
with an awkward laugh
and we both look at the pool
of caramel and the perfect
dollop of fudge on top
and I know
that he knows
I am lying

you deserve it

he says
in his swirly accent
and after he left
and I lay
beside the empty plate
on the clean white bed
doing nothing
and remembering
how much I miss
the space between
the noise

I wonder
how he knew.

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