New Day: Mother and Son



Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities crept in. Forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day: you shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Remember that old nonsense,

that crazy way we spoke to each other

when we were younger,

two or three hours ago? Oh, we were so

so foolish, so naïve, so September 3.

Already it is almost September 4,

and we wouldn’t dream now

of raising our voices and fighting

over whether or not there is time

to watch a movie before bed.

What got into us? No matter.

Just look at that serene moon,

doesn’t it just fill you with the sense

that tomorrow anything could happen.

Our spirits might just be so high

that you might say, Tonight, let’s go to bed early.

I might say, Let’s skip school and work today

and stay home and watch that movie.

Oh Geppetto, I could have told

those real boys always break your heart.

It always starts as a dream come true.

They cannot help it that they are real.

Oh the real girls, they’re no better,

all of us with our built in yearnings,

our essential fragilities.

I would not have tried to dissuade you.

A real love is better than one with strings,

regardless how strange and scary it gets.

Still, I would have loved to have warned you.

Not that it helps. Just because

sometimes it’s better to face

what is real together.

oh but I swear

it smelled so sweet today,

that rose bush

we didn’t plant together

all those years ago

Which One to Try First?

In the book of spells

I do not find the one

that helps you forget

what you want

to forget. There is one

for making the bees

come out midwinter

and another to make

the walls speak what

they’ve seen. There’s

a spell for making

minutes go slower, and

a spell to turn a woman’s

skin green. But no spell

to forget what we wish

not to know. There are

thirty-one spells for

forgiveness, though.


Though I am undeniably broken

I come to you with no need to be fixed.

I come to you the way one river

meets another river—not joining

out of thirst but because

there is so much power

and beauty in giving oneself

to another, in moving

through the world together.

I come to you the way the half moon

comes into the yard—I could be more

whole, but in the meantime,

I will bring you everything

I have.

Digging Up Potatoes

There is no way to know

what we’ll find beneath

the yellowing leaves.

And always I forget

which varieties I’ve planted

and where. And so, when

the Finnish fingerlings appear

just below the surface,

I thrill in their golden

skin and knobby shapes,

and when the dark purple

potatoes emerge from the depths

of the garden bed,

by then, I am already kneeling,

but something inside kneels, too—

oh the russet and red-skinned

and pink-fleshed miracle of it all,

the sheer delight

of running my fingers

through the dirt and

pulling out potatoes,

each one somehow

a surprise, a small reminder

of how beautifully

the world can work,

how the darkness

nourishes such incredible

gifts. Ten hours since

I left the garden, and

whatever inside me knew to kneel

is still enthralled in prayer.

Some mornings, for no reason,

the world is newer. The color

of the grass, the scent of last night’s rain,

the feel of the lover’s skin.

Everything feels charged

and abuzz with itself.

You might say, and

I would not argue,

that the world and everything in it

is another day older.

Yes, of course, and there

is also this: the taste of this peach—

I have tasted peaches before—

but this one is so very peach,

so remarkably peach,

like something I have known

only very, very new.


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