Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rituals at 2

Rituals At 2

Is full of rituals
throughout each day:
Through morning, noon and night,
found in
bath time and the bed time story,
breakfast, lunch and dinner.

in ritualistic fashion
bargaining chips vary
and are played out
with cheerio's one day,
in promises of the park on the way back
the next.

rituals are found
in the churchyard
at the information booth, of course,
among fliers for Ben & Jerry's and the
best bed & breakfast in town.

in our daily rounds
through town they are found:
it is expected
we pass the park and head down to the bakery
where little voices echo and ricochets
becoming huge, if only for a moment.

is full of rituals:
they are found throughout each day.

no matter how old we get
no matter how we grow and change
there will always be the rituals
we go through, day by day.

march 2006
not to be used without permission from author.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


I've just scratched out this poem I hesitate to put it up as it is because I wonder if it will be completely understood. Too encoded. But, isn't that the essential center of this piece anyway?

Where We Are Now

Their language is not enough for you.
Comprised of the tangible, the structured
it creates boundaries where you want none.

And yet- language is everything to you
as long as it is
your code
one where there is an overlap,
where several realities can coexist-
one where cats are pouring out of the refrigerator
and the woodstove is a bulldog
on sturdy legs
whose teeth I brush as I scrape out the ashes.

From the beginning I knew your language.
I wanted you to believe me
I know you, I whispered to a wailing infant
Do you understand?
I know you, I pleaded.

When I told you that babies
and baby animals
are cradled in their mother’s belly
before they are born,
you lit up.
Ah, proof that there is this other place.
The air around you crackled as you smiled
“Tell me again
tell me again
Where do they live?”

I am keeping a journal
in an old leather bound book
(words again)
that your father made for me when I was seventeen.
I have a conversation there with you-
the later you-
one where I tell you
what I want to tell you right now.
I tell you that there is magic
that you make your own magic.

I am telling you later what I can’t say now.

That they are afraid of their own limitations.
That their high pitched nervous affectation,
their complete unknowing
seizes me with a cold panic.

Can any of them see what you see?
Are any of them willing to grant you the invisible?

Friday, March 24, 2006

The funny parts of extended family living

The other night, my daughter was getting ready to put my granddaughter to bed (they live with my husband and I). I didn't realize how late it had become and I was still in the midst of re-arranging and cleaning up our home office - in other words, making lots of noise, banging around furniture, playing the stereo too loud, etc.

As I was trying to get the last few things done, my daughter calmly walked into the office (which is right next to the baby's room) and said in that absolute mommy-authority voice that used to be mine, "It's time to settle down now, Mom." Then she calmly turned, not waiting at all for a response from me, and went about the business of putting her baby to bed.

My first reaction: "Damn, I'm not done yet! I'm not finished... I don't wanna be quiet yet!"

My second reaction: Uncontrollable laughter - at how the tables do turn.

Daughter becomes Mama becomes Grandma becomes Daughter....

Friday, March 17, 2006


I have been reminding my daughter that equinox (and the equinox fairies) will be here Monday. The first day of spring, I whisper, as hungry for dirt and sweetness and possibilities as she has been. Today we went out into a bleak 21-degree morning to blow bubbles in the driveway. The liquid was literally freezing as it dripped down the bottle. We watched the bubbles trail off into a dull sky.

Our seedlings stretch hopefully toward the grow lamps suspended over the kitchen table. The cat is constantly trampling the shallots. In a few months sun, rain, and soil will have coaxed the tiny kale sprouts into hardy monsters we can barely kept up with. Yet, here we are in March pushing our luck with grow lamps while the wood stove is still running.

My daughter is sculpting a tiny beret for her stuffed calico cat toy. When he (she?) wears it, Sophia scolds "A bas!” (“get down” in French) and dutifully the cat leaps off the couch. She has been a prolific artist in the past few months, pumping out work that I tuck into an already overstuffed portfolio. All drawings of cats- rainbow cats, kittens riding on their mothers’ back, cats named “Rocco”, ”Brown Sleek”, and “Vimo”. This feline army overtakes the table and refrigerator. She refuses my offers of Storytime at the library or lunch downtown. These cats are all she wants.

I am thinking of the day that we walk down Loomis Street and pause under every flowering tree. I reach up to grasp a branch and shake hard. White and pink petals shower over her as she looks up. “Snow!” I always shout.

Hmmm…snow. Happy Equinox.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Poem: The Summer Position

The Summer Position

It is March.
Already she moves into
The summer position
Even though there is still
Snow on the ground.
Hands clutch the plastic tray
(Where the Cheeri-o's go)
Pulling away from the padded seat
Wanting a view of everything
Surveying regally.
She moves into the summer position
Waving at everyone like a queen
In her snowman fleecy.

March 2006
not to be used without permission from author.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Motherhood Doesn’t Pay the Bills or Parallel Lives

Motherhood Doesn’t Pay the Bills or Parallel Lives

I love my job:
Holding hands with my little girl, circling from the living room to the kitchen over and over, being led just for giggles
I am passionate about it too:
I lovingly chop kale into little bits, mix it in with organic pasta so that my girl can get calcium from another source besides milk…she’s a little sensitive to dairy
I have fun while I am at work:
Another hike through the woods with my lady love on my back, I laugh listening to her call the dog
I model useful skills:
Autumn runs to the lazy susan, grabs yet another spoon, and mixes up her brightly painted wooden vegetables, then spoons a little to her baby doll

My mortgage payment is late again
The interest rates on my credit cards are up
We don’t pick up the phone when the student loan people call
I have been to the movies twice in two years
What will I do with myself if she goes to school?

As a teenager, I said to my mom, “Why don’t you go to college?”
I always wondered why she didn’t paint any more, she said she used to love art
Why did it seem like she was always vacuuming?
Shouldn’t she be hanging out with her friends more?
Did she love her job?
My dad broke his back working long days, weekends, for us….

Jamie works another double today
He saw Autumn for 15 minutes this morning after he chopped our wood for the day and showered
Then he was off….
He will see her again tomorrow morning
He works for us
He loves my job too

I love my job
Tickling under her chin just to hear her gurgley laugh
Pretending to eat from her spoon while we sit in her tent in the living room
Kissing baby doll #1 and #2 goodnight before I tuck them in with my own little baby doll
Holding her with me in the shower just so I can get clean without her pulling open the shower curtain, getting herself and the bathroom floor soaked
I love my job and I could use a paycheck

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Waiting for You
written June 2005

Your third birthday
is two days away.
I remember waiting for you.
Standing behind the desk at the library
I pressed the “Date Due” stamp to the inkpad with swollen fingers.

She’ll be here by then, I thought.

My body heavy, blurry, juicy, overripe,
all encompassing.
I shifted my weight back and forth.
Sliding books across the counter again and again.

Fascinated by yogurt lids and milk jugs
In awe of the “sell by” dates.
Waiting and walking.

She’ll be here by then, I thought.

The bones of my feet spreading
hips creaking open.
How did I not know you three years ago?
We were just about to meet.

Inhaling the purple of lilacs on my dresser,
watching them wilt.
Bottling homemade lemon soda in the kitchen,
listening to Johnny Cash.
Waiting and walking.

Always believing this breakfast
or this supper
was the last before
you came.
Maple sausages and raspberry waffles.

Finally, the midnight car ride under low rumbles of thunder.
I see the numbers of the clock glow on the dash.

The last time that time is time.

The last ride without you.
How was there a ride without you?
Or thunder without you?

She’ll be here.

Your third birthday is two days away.
I remember waiting for you.

Just Playing
July 2005

Today we played grocery store.

You chose cans and boxes from off the couch.
Put them in your basket
I, as cashier
rang them through
and asked for
“Ten dollars, please.”

You placed the invisible bill in my palm.
I gave you change
And imagined you carrying your bags out of the store
your car.

Not to be used without written permission from the author.

Friday, March 03, 2006


On The Day You Turned 18 Months

On the day you turned 18 months
Mars moved out of Taurus
Where it had been for seven long months
(Retrograde for 2 months and 8 days)
And into Gemini
Bringing much needed change
From the stale and stubborn Bull.

On the day you turned 18 months
There was a remarkable storm
With fierce winds howling through the trees
Bowing them out, lashing against one another
Bringing much needed change from the stale winter.

On the day you turned 18 months
You learned to open our doors
Quite by accident, but with such ease in your discovery.
I heard the little pitter-patter of feet
on that day
Coming to greet me at the gate and
"Hi Mom" in your sweet jabbering voice, soon to change, one day.

On the day you turned 18 months
I stood in awe of you
This little person who chatters and walks-well, runs-
Who demands 'mo-meems'
Remembering my scrunchy-faced baby
Delicately woven against my breasts.

not to be used without permission from author
february 2006