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Samantha’s Daily Poem

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
badgers

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
exfoliated

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
nubby
tooth.

 

**

 

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

Two



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
before

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
January 25, 2016

Nursing Darth Vader



You’ve taken your clothes off
and you’re sitting down
on the dining room floor
your belly round and relaxed
your little legs bruised
from the weekend’s impatient explorations

I’m making dinner
and I can hear you singing quietly
in the other room

sleeping bunnies
oh so still


I tell you dinner’s ready
and you come around the corner
with a small figurine
pressed to your chest

no yet
I giving milk


you explain
in a louder whisper
and I see that you’re pretending
to nurse your brother’s
Darth Vader toy

I wonder if you heard
your dad and me talking yesterday
after we watched that movie
about how heartbreaking
it is to remember
that the worst of us all
were babies once

little faces
looking up
expecting kindness
each time
even when
the kindness
never comes

and as you make
drinking sounds for Darth
I turn the heat down

on the stove
and kiss your head

take your time
he needs it
.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
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