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Samantha’s Daily Poem

August 23, 2014

Beans and rice

I give a last hug to my friend’s daughter
headed to university
and I remember the feeling
of being that age
of rolling over
to a new life
as if the page of time
was turning me

I want to tell her
about that guy in cowboy boots
and why I’m glad I said yes
and how beans and rice
make a complete protein

I want to tell her
about morning classes
and how I made money
by selling my clothes

but she’s getting on a boat
and the summer heat makes it all seem
more like a story
than a life

so I just hug her again
and my son asks me
why I keep hugging her
and I tell him I am wishing her
a great time at university

as the boat leaves
he yells at her

have a great universe

and I think

that’s exactly
what I meant.

August 22, 2014

A jester in your court

Today you chopped
off a head
for a crime that yesterday
made you laugh

he called you by a funny name
or was it that he wore brown

you can see
why I’m nervous

I juggle and sing and duck
your irrational moments

and sometimes I just hug you
wishing I could open you up
and deposit my love

see it all laying there
my best efforts
proof that they found
their way in

and sometimes when I hug you
it’s so tender
it makes my heart race
how long it will last

if my head
is next.

August 21, 2014

Aunt Lou

In the car today
you ask me
if the world is older
than Aunt Lou

whose story
you tell often
polishing it
like a jewel
especially the part where she drank tea
from a saucer

I tell you the world is older than everyone
and all the animals too

you get defensive
and tell me Aunt Lou
is a great-great-great aunt
not just a medium one

I make a neutral sound
that means you win

and then we drive in silence
perhaps both of us picturing her
in those starched clothes
her tea cooling
her stubborn old-fashioned face

and as we pull up
at your grandpa’s
you concede
that it must have been quiet
when the world was born
with so many cars
and no one to drive them.

August 20, 2014

Your tongue

There is a quiet mechanicalness to it
not hungry
or sensual
but rather a plodding thing
emerging out of your serious face
every few seconds
to press itself against the wall
the radiator
your brother’s leg

and none of it appears
to delight or repel you

like a good scientist
you note your findings
and carry on.

August 19, 2014

A peculiar way of drowning

On the water taxi
you agree to keep your life jacket on
not in case we capsize
but in case we get swallowed
by a whale.

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