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Samantha’s Daily Poem

August 3, 2016

The birth of an idea

It happens every time
an idea needs to shake
out of me

I feel it growing
blurry and quiet
like an old memory

I start to snack
and scan
the online news

I pluck my eyebrows
and check my phone

I hover around myself
a dance of distraction

knowing it will scuttle away
if I look too close
too soon

so we play this game
the idea and me

like that stranger today
in the elevator

so intimate
to drop together
through the air
in a small box

but it’s rude to stare
so we pretend
it’s normal
to watch the walls

the door opens
and the stranger walks away
into the details
of his own significance

but not the idea

it grows its last limb
and falls into my lap

as friendly as the last one
letting me look it over
as if it was never hiding
as if we have been
tied together

Posted In: Creativity | no comments
July 29, 2016


She has red hair
and a wonky tooth

she is taller than him
but he tells me
their thumbs
are the same length

her name is Layla
and after he drags me
over to meet her
I tell them
I’ve met her before
in the playground

so she throws her arms
around him
and shouts
like a judge declares
a winner

see, we’re already friends

and as the sun drops
leaving a pretty smudge
of pink chalk
across the sky

he gets on his bike
and she kisses him on the cheek

he bikes fast
to show off
but then he stops
and yells

I love you more
than all my ancestors

and the last few moms
packing up blankets
and babies
clutch their hearts

as I do
feeling a cracking open
of hope

with a slight ache too
as I feel myself
wishing a five-year-old’s
uncomplicated devotion
was something

Posted In: Relationships | no comments
July 27, 2016

A quieter path to peace

You are naked
except for a paper crown
and your shouting

which you wear
like a weapon
in this battle
to get
what you want

it isn’t like you
to yell
but you want to watch
Bob the Train
on my phone
and you shout
as loud as you can

it is precious to me

which might have made me laugh
except I didn’t sleep much
the night before
so I make
a stern face

do not
yell at me

and this makes you burst
into tears
and fling yourself
off the couch
and into my arms

as you tuck your hands
into my armpits
and sob on the side
of my neck

you begin to play with my hair
your breath slowing down

and I think
if only
it was this way
for everyone

like that man
running for the job
of most powerful person
in the world

he would yell and shout
but as soon
as he felt
he was hurting

it would hurt him too
to yell

so he would soften
and slowly
find a quieter path
to peace.

Posted In: Parenthood | one comment
July 25, 2016


Because when a barrel bomb falls
it makes the air whistle

a moment
a moan

before it erases
buildings and bones

and that horrible hum
before it hits
made the older girl cry at first
and then scream
each time
until now
she hardly speaks
at all

so with their younger one
who is only two
they have taught her
that the whine
of the rusty drum
diving down towards them
is a happy sound

like an ice cream truck

so while the older one
stares at the smoke
in the distance

the parents force themselves
to laugh and dance
each time
a crater is made in the streets
where children play

as the little one
claps her hands
with joy.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
July 22, 2016

Letting go

He is up in the tree
higher than the roof of our house
I can just see the orange of his shirt
like the wing of a tropical bird
or a kite

he is so high now
that my brain wobbles a bit
when I look up at him
so I sit down on the park bench
and look away

look mama
he yells

the leaves rustle
as he bounces
on a branch

I pretend to look
and give him a thumbs up

another mom is beside me on the bench
and she asks how old he is

when I tell her he is five
she is amazed

and I am too

not that he has learned
to hang in the sky

but that I have learned
to let go.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
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