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Samantha’s Daily Poem

August 30, 2014

Your affection for noses



There is something generous
in the way your little mouth opens
tongue reaching
to receive it

you are repelled by none of them
not the big ones
or the snotty ones
the oily or the old

there is a steadiness
to your choice
your eyes show no emotion
saying simply

this is a nose
and I am going to lick it

and the effect is the same
they blush
all of them
giggling at how sloopy it feels
at the unexpected tenderness
of the embrace.

August 29, 2014

Fizzle



You sit on the chair
eating cheese and watching
The Sound of Music
which I let you do
for longer than I’d planned
because you keep saying

I love this part

even though you haven’t
seen it before

and then you turn to me
with a funny look
and tell me

mama, my feet are starting to fizzle

which I almost tell you
are called pins and needles
and I almost tell you
it’s because you haven’t moved for ages

but I realize
that it’s exactly
what it feels like
so I rub them
while we watch
until the end.

August 28, 2014

Wolf spider



If they didn’t want us
to be scared of them
they shouldn’t have called them

wolf spiders

I know you can relate
as I sit here
stalked by an obstacle course
of overturned cups

each one harboring
a shadow

my tea is cold
and I am suspicious
and itchy

and then there is the one
that got away
feathery stain scuttling
under the couch

it was his lightness
that was the most harrowing
the way he seemed to crawl
without touching the ground

I can’t stop thinking about him
howling his revenge
in the dark.

Posted In: Nature | no comments
August 27, 2014

So many parts



What is impressive
about parenting
is that we operate
as if it is normal
to be shattered
into so many parts

to find our brains
turned from pilots
into armies

go
go
go

the troops yell
and we run around
invading ourselves

so that if you unzipped
us in any random moment
you would find

a part writing a proposal
wearing linen and heels

a part wondering
if anyone will notice
if the food at the party
is made by someone else

a part arranging a playdate
while on hold
with a store
who you blame
for more than they deserve

and a part that hears
the baby poo
in another room
so you send the proposal
and bring the phone with you
where you find her
a quiet look on her face
and you can’t explain why
but you reach into her mouth
and pull out a piece of wood
just the right size
to be awful

and the man at the store
comes back on the phone to tell you
there is nothing he can do

you wonder if he has ever
saved a life
and you think

yes
he probably has.

August 26, 2014

Quiet lumps



I start off the day confident
and calm as wax
I kiss my children
I make up funny songs

but I leak patience
like an old sink

so by dinnertime
I am tinny
in that way when words
are carefully chosen
with more teeth
than tongue

and at the park I am a husk
of earlier intentions

I see others like me
quiet lumps
too tired to do any parenting
but watch

I think of them later
when the kids are asleep
as I try to assemble the highchair
berating it
with a rude and glorious freedom
that I normally keep locked up
in my throat

I think of them
and wonder
if they will go into their children’s rooms
like I will
late at night
and whisper into their hair

tomorrow
tomorrow
will be great.

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