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Samantha’s Daily Poem

January 24, 2016

Twitchy servant

This must have been
what it was like
in medieval times
a young princess
flocks of twitchy servants
trying to read her mood

this morning
laughing was banned
and now socks
are forbidden

last night
I didn’t know
about the pillows
and I sat on one

she screamed
and I jumped up
quick to obey
to stop the sound of her yell
that scraped the inside
of my head

and it must have been this way
with royal offspring
except she might have
stomped and shouted

off with head

for the pillow infraction perhaps
or for not finding the right pen
or when the balloon popped
and I couldn’t put it
back together

and maybe the next day
lopped head buried or drowned
or however they disposed
of the guilty

the young princess would ask
for that nursemaid
and someone would softly
remind her what she’d done

and she’d realize
she missed her kind smile
and that time they slipped
in the mud and laughed so hard
they peed a little
in their dresses

and her heart and stomach
would tighten like she was choking
and she would look around
for who to yell at

bring her back.

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
January 23, 2016

It’s just like they warned

It’s just like they warned
the unexpected lurch
the leap from here to there
just when here
was making sense

the two-year-old wakes up
and quietly plays
on her own
for an hour
which she’s never done
putting her stuffed animals
to bed and I can hear

her kissing them
and when I finally get up
I see that she has placed
one on each stair
each one carefully tucked
under a wet wipe

and I notice
the five-year-old
has two loose teeth
and when I look inside
his mouth I see
the adult ones
poking up behind
like a shark

I finish my bowl of cereal
and pretend that all this
is normal
when of course
it is not
because the world spun faster
last night
even though no one else
seems to have noticed

so yes
it’s just like they warned
you’ll have been watching the leaves
blow in the wind
when suddenly you look up
and realize
they aren’t saplings anymore
but two soaring trees.

Posted In: Parenthood | one comment
January 21, 2016

Kindergarten teacher

I bet she didn’t expect
that part of the job

you have to respect
their space

she tells him
but he is only five

and I can see the teacher
wish it could last
a little longer for him

the innocence
of hugging anyone
the moment
he feels like it

but she cannot
allow it

and I understand
but I still wonder
if it ever makes her cry a little
in private

the confusion
on their faces
as she erases
their belief
that their love
is always wanted.

January 20, 2016

Raisins in my wallet

There is a rocket ship
made of toilet paper rolls
on our mantelpiece
and crayons lined up
like soldiers
that I’m forbidden to move
inside my favourite shoes

there are raisins
in my wallet
and you used my lipgloss
this morning as glue

our car is a compost
and I haven’t slept
through the night
in years

but I am not thinking about this
over coffee with a friend
I haven’t seen since before
you colonized
my life

I am remembering how casual
time was back then
how easy it was
to waste an hour
how rich I was
in minutes

and then suddenly
as if an alarm went off
I realize I should wrap up
our chat
but he does it first

a quick hug
and then we head back
to conducting the orchestras
of our busy lives

I get home
and you both
climb onto my lap

you show me
a paper scribbled in blue
and you say
with a happy confidence

I drew you
five cats, mama

and your brother
who is sick
tries to make me laugh
because we decided
last month
that laughing
was a family value

Jabba the Hutt’s
is Fatty the Hutt

which really does
make me laugh

and I haven’t even taken
off my coat
when I realize
with a knot of gratitude
that my heart
will never
be tidy

Posted In: Parenthood | no comments
January 19, 2016

Five hours in a row

I wouldn’t have traded it
for money
or a day at the spa

five hours
in a row
in daylight
in my house
in silence

not puttering
or cleaning up

not even reading
a novel

but the glorious
of thinking
about big things
that need a steady gaze

about important things
that need a tunnel
dug out
to reach them

not my marriage
or my kids
or a new plan
to exercise

just the marvelous
puzzle of my work
all mapped out
on big pieces
of paper
that felt to me
like art

and when she woke up
from her nap
I wasn’t done
but my mind
was tired
in a good way
like a dog
that had finally
been let out
to run

I couldn’t have guessed
before kids
how good that would feel

and I’m always happy to see her
but I swear
this time
there was more
of me there.

Posted In: Parenthood | 2 comments
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