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Samantha’s Daily Poem

January 4, 2016

Parenting was made for extroverts

I was told about patience
and coming alongside
their emotions

I was prepared for less sleep
and less sex

I surrendered my hygiene
and my core

but nobody warned me
that parenting was made
for extroverts

that I would pretend
to have to pee
just to close a door

that I would ask my children
if we could play
the jail game again
where they stuff me between
two chairs
and throw a blanket
over me

and that I would tell them
even after their third try
to free me
that I wasn’t rehabilitated yet

I sat today
on the kitchen floor
back against the fridge

mommy needs nobody to talk to her
for a few minutes, ok

and I closed my eyes
fantasizing about the solitude
of ashrams
entrance exams
tanning beds

then my son slides
a piece of paper
around the corner

it has hearts on it
in green
which is my favourite colour
and my name
and his name
inside the biggest one

which is when I remember
that there is no balance
in a day
or a decade
but that the aloneness
will come
and I will savour it
and then
I will not.

Posted In: Parenthood | 2 comments
January 3, 2016

Being two

I forgot this phase
the unquenchable want

how you wake up desperate
for my iphone

how you want to use the bathmat
for a blanket
even when I tell you
how gross that is

how you want everything you hear
like today you wanted to be
a screenplay
and a postal code

and yet for some reason
you never tell me
that you want to cuddle

you just whisper

remember the deer, mama

and then you wrap yourself
into my neck
your breath warm
that lovely beast
an excuse
to be still.

January 2, 2016

New Years

I do what I always do
before New Years

a binge on motivational books
each subtitle
a promise
that I believe
with an unflappable premonition
of invincibility

this year I tell my husband
that I am going to
choose joy

he is quiet
then says

I’m going to stop
being a fat moody prick

which I suppose is
sort of the same thing

and then when everyone is asleep
I think about the car ritual
he has with our son
how they drive along
pointing out strangers on the street
looking for a Janet
or a Danny
and always finding lots
of Bobs

I laugh in the quiet house
and then I add to my list

I choose this.

October 26, 2015

Another odd demand

The house is quiet
except the two of us

it’s too early to be up
but just late enough
that he won’t fall back asleep

I lay on the floor
in the hallway
outside the bathroom
trying to make a few socks
into a pillow

he is having a poo
and I must be here

yet another odd demand
my children make
that I obey

like how my daughter
will only bathe
if I join her
and let her build Lego
on my knees

or how my son
pleaded with me today
until I sang
“our silly song”
for his teacher

and just when I wish
I could reclaim
some dignity
some right of refusal

a moment like the moon happens
bobbing across the night
big and bright
like a buoy
on a black sea

and my daughter
gasps and presses
her cheek into mine

the moon is her favourite thing
and I know my job
is to stay here
as long as it takes
cheek to cheek
getting quieter
as we whisper
all our thoughts
about moons
until our thoughts stop
their rattling

and in the silence
I am grateful
for all the different things I see
when I follow.

October 25, 2015

A big clock

We can’t go back there
not for at least five years
not after what happened

I should have known
after the last time
with the band-aids

aisles of things
you want
the way a lion
wants meat

I thought I was safe
just batteries

a quick trip
in and out

but then you saw
the alarm clocks
and your body
turned to fire

at first I watch you
like I would if you
were an animal
and I was at the zoo

impressed by how red you get
and the way your crying
gets faster and faster
like your rage is running downhill

but then I realize
that you are screaming
over and over
I want a big clock
only you can’t say your L’s

and I remember later
driving home
how it was me
everyone was staring at
I suppose
all sorts of exciting things.

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