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Samantha’s Daily Poem

March 5, 2014

After a trillion



We are driving to your granny’s
and you ask me
how big is eleven thousand

I tell you about all the zeros
which you say sounds like
a very tall snowman

and then you ask me
what comes after that
which is how we got talking
about a million
and a billion
and a trillion

and then we both got quiet
me thinking about that debt clock
near Times Square
and whether you and your sister
will be owned by the banks one day
like they warn us

and perhaps you thinking about
snowmen as high as skyscrapers
or a long train of round barrels
like we saw last year
winding through farmland
like a centipede

then you ask me
what comes after a trillion

I tell you I don’t know
but that we’ll look it up

I think it’s a silly-un

you say
and I tell you
with a smile
that is just a little bit sad
how right you are.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
March 4, 2014

Before



You looked at a photo
of me pregnant with you
and asked me
where you were
before you were in my tummy

I tell you
that you were in my imagination

to which you scrunch up
your face and wonder out loud
how very fat
my head must have been.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
March 2, 2014

The riverbank



We walk along the river whistling
which we do to lure Philomena the fish
though you can’t whistle
so you yell yoohoo

and you ask me again
if she knows we’re coming
which I confirm
though of course
all of it was to get you
to swimming lessons this morning

which makes your dad wonder
out loud again
at my deception
which I tell myself is magical
but I know it’s also
my only way through the glue
of your moods

but here we are in the end
on a quiet path
that smells of trees and snow
and we are holding hands
waiting for a fish

and you ask me
if Philomena has a lot of money
or just a little

so I try to remember
what I must have said
some added detail
to get your socks on
or to eat the last bite

the riverbank, mama
you say slowly
where the fish put their money

and at that moment
for a collision of reasons
my chest aches
and  I squeeze your little hand

oh yes, my goose
she is very, very rich.

Posted In: Parenthood | one comment
March 1, 2014

The morning you went crazy



We sit under a blanket on the couch
and you ask me again
to tell you about
how you went crazy this morning

so I start with the part
when your dad cut into the banana
for porridge

forgetting that you wanted to do the banana part
and it was our last banana
so dad offered to tape it back together
and when that only made it worse
I tried making the sliced part
into a mouth so the banana
could plead with you himself

but you were like an avalanche
of fury at this point
desperate for futile things
like orange juice in a cup we don’t own
and for it not to be Saturday
ever

I tell you about how you writhed and flung
as though the mad
was like a big dog inside you
wanting to get out

and I tell you about how it ended
with a trick about raisins
and how when you finally ate the porridge
the calm was thick and sudden
like pouring water on a fire

but your favourite part
is when I tell you about
the middle of the storm
when you marched over to me
and said

I want to kiss you

and I said

that’s sweet my goose
I would love a kiss

and you said

I said I want to kick you

which pushed me
right past my own rage
into an unhinged defeat
of laughter.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
February 27, 2014

The Wizard of Oz



Your new thing
is The Wizard of Oz
except for the parts
with the wicked witch
because you tell me

she’ll make you dead

but you like pointing to the characters
and what they all need

courage
a heart
a brain
a home

I ask you what you need
and you tell me more puzzles

but then you say
no no
frantically
as if I might be a wizard
and you’d wasted your wish

I need a zebra actually

you say
and then you look at me
as if wondering for the first time
if there are things
I cannot do.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
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