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Samantha’s Daily Poem

September 14, 2014

Some kind of rapture

We walk around the lake
and you are grumpy
because that boy at the playground
told you Let it Go
was a stupid song
and when you told him
he was a bad person
he said he could punch you
if he wanted to

and I am grumpy too
because I’ve been trying
to get your sister to sleep
in the stroller for two hours
and I don’t want to carry her
because of the kink in my neck

which is when we see her
dressed in black
on a bench
her music stand set up
beside the path
her cello
between her legs

I ask her
if she’ll play us something
and she’s shy so I can’t hear
what she says

but the music comes
rich and throaty
and sad like what I imagine
an oak tree would sound like
if it mourned

she finishes
and tells me
that was St. James Infirmary

I tell her
she should record it
because it put my daughter
to sleep and parents
would pay a lot for that

and you have been quiet
the whole time
in some kind of rapture
so I ask

what did you think, lovebug

wondering if we will buy
a cello today or tomorrow

and then you answer
your face still bright
with reverence

I love her rainbow socks.

Posted In: Parenthood | one comment
September 8, 2014

Unusual names

As we drive past the old post office
with the big clock tower
that you call Big Ben
you ask me
like you always do
if we can go in there

it’s closed

I tell you
and this time
it really is

can I ever go in there

I tell you a friend of mine
got married there
I tell you that you don’t know them
but they have two kids
Amy and Joe

those are unusual names

you say
which makes me laugh
all the way home.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
September 6, 2014

Turning four

Birthdays must feel rather sudden
when you’re young
everyone shouting how special
you are for one day
giving you presents
and letting you eat
whatever you want

it’s no wonder
I found you upstairs
halfway through the party
with your old babysitter
quiet on the couch
as she read you a book

your cousin has a present for you

I told you
and as we walked downstairs
you asked me

even though I’m four
can things go back
the way they were.

September 5, 2014

Getting old

The insult is not
that we die
at the end
because that grief
will not be ours

neither is it the groaning
sag of our bones
or the grey
in our everywhere

the real fear
is the threat
of some point in time
that is unmarked
and on the other side
a slow erasing
of who we thought we were
and lethargy
where there used
to be hope.

September 4, 2014

The piles

I was ambitious
I told my husband

by the end of the week

the piles on the stairs are too high
and there is too much broccoli
on the floor

it’s become absurd
we agree

I try to start small
in one corner
but when I get down low
I see the art supplies
under the couch
with the plates
that don’t fit
in our cupboard

and just like that
I am beaten

the house has won
I am too outnumbered
by objects that have a purpose
but no place

so I do what I always do
when my will sags
in tired protest

I make tea
and I sit
letting serenity interrupt me
until my weariness thaws
and I come
to life again.

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