7.31.2010

Daily Poem 12/30

All four of us bundled into the hotel room
with all our things on a moving truck
finished a bottle of good scotch at 4pm
and took the baby to a nearby restaurant.
She munched on breadsticks
looking philosophical
charmed the waitstaff
"we're all talking about her in the back room,"
said one, after each had come by to visit and collect her smiles.
The baby Pearl didn't know she was between homes
in the best way
a river home awaiting her
under trees full of cicadas
leaving behind the condo we loved, a kitchen we'd built ourselves,
and the upstairs neighbors we'd come to dread
but first we had to close.
And take some time in the hotel pool.
at night the cat prowled the perimeter,
a dark shadow among shadows
as cats love to be.
In the year since that day,
we have painted
a lot
planned
big visions
pulled weeds and planted pumpkins
met neighbors
befriended neighbors
learned to parent together
from the day we shared a long hug in the kitchen
and the baby climbed the stairs alone
and fell, causing us to both install a gate and not hug too much
when she was awake
to the day we first cuddled in the loveseat side by side
and watched the most diverse set of birds stop by our new feeder
as she pointed and said "robin! sparrow! chickalee!"
A Thanksgiving spent here with loved ones
fresh local food
and abundant household projects
and a Christmas spent here
making cookies for every family on the street
For every frog call from our living room
and every stray toy underfoot
for every morning we took a shower in a house with no working shower
I thank the universe.
That first night when the moon was full and aquatic insects lined the screens,
it was with wonder I slept next to you
and still awake with awe in my gut
at that July 31
when we left what we knew
to come to where
we knew
we belonged.
Daily Poem 11/30

In the shop with the birthday card that reads
"You're 80 - Now a Valuable Antique"
the woman behind the counter explains
"I'm just smart enough to work here"
when someone asks if she is the owner.
Indonesian picture frames,
a cutting board hewn from raw cherrywood,
cat clocks,
10:00pm closing time in Waltham.
Club beats pound from the cars outside.
But it's not all butterfly magnets and salad bowls in this town.
Next door, at the sunken lifestyle store with porn on the garden level,
women wait. For someone, or for anyone?
I remember years ago
walking downstairs with my then-boyfriend
exploring Waltham for the first time and quite certain
of finding the woman-centric, sex-positive porn
that I knew.
But no--this shop was different. Not even on the bottom step
was I before I grabbed his hand and turned to go back up.
He laughed and said he told me so.
Now my husband and I live minutes from Waltham
an exciting Friday night is mulching the front yard.
In the morning he wraps his arms and legs around me and gives me butterfly kisses on my cheek until I threaten him for waking me if it's before 6.
we look at the clock.
6 on the dot.
I like a man who lives on the edge.

7.29.2010

Daily Poem 10/30

"Touch!" she yells, pointing at the sky.
Sun set glints off air plane.
Darkening blue sky behind a sliding sliver of red and silver.
I lift her up
but she still can't reach
so she puts both hands over her blond head.
Two birds fly over
and she reaches for them.
They are far away.
She is reaching higher
as I hoist her
into the sky
Nothing left to do but kiss
her belly.

7.28.2010

Daily Poem 9/30

On Monday she is offered a dinner of fresh mozzarella, red peppers,
veggie sausage, and edamame.
Instead, she opts to eat twelve wasabi peas from my salad,
all spicy hot. She's always liked them.
She happily crunches away with her 15 toddler teeth.
Then she drinks all her milk.
In the end I add her dinner to the compost.
On Tuesday she eats one wasabi pea. Suddenly it is too hot.
It is the hottest spiciest thing in the world.
She needs milk immediately. She rubs her tongue to get rid of the spiciness.
She cries.
No more wasabi peas.
On Wednesday she is offered a dinner of hummus, yogurt, pretzels, and omelette.
Instead she eats
about a dozen
olives
from the back of the fridge and of course
she drinks
lots of milk.

7.27.2010

Daily Poem 8/30

For the luscious cake we thank you so much
frosting galore and that special touch
Hidden at first under baked phenom by Ann
a surprise no one saw coming, not even Dan.
In fact this nondescript plate was our unknown wish
as bite by delicious bite unveiled
a pufferfish!
Daily Poem 7/30

My Poem! Oh no!

My Poem!

7.25.2010

Daily Poem 6/30

Today we found a new pond,
a new pathway,
through some new woods.
It was fun.
There were too many speedboats on the new pond,
and too much broken glass on the path,
but it was still fun.
It being new, we had to stop the backstory for a little while
and think about what was happening right that moment.
Yesterday we tried a new dessert.
Raspberry bread pudding.
It had familiar elements
Felt comforting and known
but still hard to understand what to expect
which is all we needed.
Relationships seem to end, or pause, when I sense
there's not a new conversation happening
when I can predict the outcome of every core idea.
This is not easy given all the domestic bliss. I'm not really that kind of goddess.
When daily life flirts with the mundane to the extent
that the cat meows outside our bedroom door
the instant she knows we are finished
I remember, yes, I need the new.
Not a new relationship--I'm not crazy--but a new circumstance within it.
Repeating myself has always been a weakness to anger.
I don't know why, but I can't stand it.
My highest praise is a quietly enthusiastic, "She pays attention!"
In toddler world, every day is new, and it's amazing.
And yet every day is painfully repeated in singsong routine.
It's a conundrum.

7.24.2010

Daily Poem 5/30

Short poem for saturday night

Oh full moon rising across baseball field in July
Full shimmer,
Full glow.
Full cloud wisps
Full seagull on final nighttime soar
full screech owl call in the distance
making a routine, but full, 8:45 good night
full cricket chorus
full baby asleep
arms wrapped around the teddy bear of my childhood
named Daughter because
that's what I wanted more than anything
full rise
full life
full day
full night

7.23.2010

Daily Poem 4/30

"You chose good dishes," murmurs the beautiful Persian woman,
handing me cartons of Persian food.
Currants, cherries, saffron, almonds, lentils mingle with rice
it is good
her shy smile is good
in this little shop
a mustachioed man cutting dough
and she is smiling as soon as I come in
A neighbor she's never met.
When I pick up Ben & Jerry's next door
the convenience store guy
wants to know what smells so good
wafting from my take-out bag
I chide him gently for never having tried the food on the other side of the wall
make him laugh
but then I've never tried the Persian food either
we all have a lot of learning to do
when I get home the neighbors are already there
I am always astonished at
how present they are
even when I just feel like fading into
toddler-speak
easier to pick up blocks than try to tell
the compelling story in my head
but then how beautiful
that right now
everything should be so easy
woman sliding cartons across the counter
checkout clerk shrugging when I ask him
when he closes shop: "9:30?" he asks, like we'll figure it out together
families and kids on the street
wandering in through the door.
I don't have to do much
but
choose good dishes.

7.22.2010

Daily Poem 3/30

You are the board
on which the game is played
instead of a piece boxed by rules
you define the framework
in which you live
which means you submit
willingly to a circumstance
which changes the way you think
of the word circumstance
you are the board
on which the game is played
you provide the space for which
things happen
none of this would happen without you
sure it would
but not exactly in this way
at this time
because you are the board

7.21.2010

Daily Poem 2/30

My friend Geneva and her new boyfriend D-Bo
short for Derek
which is the name she first gave me
made a list of all her friends
because she hadn't seen them in a while
and she missed them.
They actually made two lists
one titled "Corporate Friends"
and one titled "Ghetto Friends."
I asked her which list I was on.
"Well girl you ain't ghetto!!"
she replied
In the nighttime
I do a
solitary jog
listening to a temple of crickets
where once I might have called someone
now I hear only my own breath as the sun sets
deep into the corners of my
town
white town
once I would have corrected this imbalance
now I muscle through the strain of one foot

one foot
in front of the other

7.20.2010

Daily Poem 1/30

At night above the white pine
a single star
a steady light
waking in the dark heat I wonder: The north star?
In the morning it seems just like a dream.
But after many nights I begin to imagine
sailors following it through ages, rotating their maps to match the sky
slaves walking through fields and sleeping, hiding in daylight
at night, looking up
away from shoes almost worn off
For ages it burns
a steady light cast on water and dirt roads
on tall corn at night
on trees that seem less familiar over the course
of the journey.
The closest I've seen
to a universe of stars, that most familiar constant,
is my daughter's face when she first lay on my belly
From one life to another
she traveled
what I saw in her eyes
the stars seemed so familiar