Posts Tagged ‘daughter’

She is the one
who sings in her room
and she is the beat drop
the melody, the bass,
she is the soundtrack
that still fills the home
even when she says nothing at all.

And she is the maker
of chocolate desserts
the one who was given
bitterness and met it
with sweetness
and flame.

She is the laughter
that rises in the dark.
She is the flare,
the generous spark.

She’s the dance, the dancer,
the stage, the shuffle flap ball change,
the pink pointe shoe
worn to the wood.
She is sweat and ovation,
she is barre and plié.

And she is the one who went to school
three days after her brother died.
She is raised hand and science lab,
t-ball and sketch pad,
she is one who thrives.

She is monarch and cocoon,
the bright wings, the wind,
she is the summer land.
She is the one who brings beauty with her.
She is story. Plot. The turning page.
The one with the pen
in her hand.

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No Way to Anchor

While our bodies curl
into each other on the couch,
Vivian grabs my resting hand
and begins to smack it
into my chin.
Why are you hitting yourself?
she asks as my limp hand
repeatedly hits my jaw.
Why are you hitting yourself?
And we’re laughing and
I squirm and squeak
and she grins as she keeps up
her one-line interrogation.

I want to hold this giggling moment,
want to linger here
where the truth
that we hurt ourselves
becomes play,
where the trust
that we will do our best
to not hurt each other
runs deep, deep as the current
that drags this moment
with it through time,
even as I squeal Stop,
knowing how it goes on.

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thank you, Mom

And though she is now late for church
and though she is still getting dressed
and though we had already said goodbye
and had nearly hung up,
my mother sits in her rocker
and gives me her full attention
as I cry. This, she says, is exactly
what Mother’s Day is for.
And part of me wants to let her go,
and part of me is so grateful
she stays with me, holding me
with her being. For though
there are no words that bring comfort,
her silence and presence do,
and though I am no longer
a little girl who can curl into her lap,
that’s what I do. I feel myself cradled
and fall all the way into her love
and it feels good to be a daughter
on this day when it’s not easy
to be a mother. It feels good
for a moment to not be the one
doing the holding. To not be the one
who is strong. To be the one
who nestles deeper in,
so deep
I can meet the unmeetable.

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I hope we remember forever
this trip to New York—
remember the trees in pink bloom
along the High Line in Chelsea,
remember the tiramisu
at Joe G.’s near Carnegie,
remember the reflecting pool
outside the Lincoln Center,
and how the whole city shined
after rain. And I hope we remember
forever the way the man stole my brown hat
when the wind blew it off my head
and he shouted It’s mine, It’s mine, and ran off,
how unsettling it was to be interviewed
by the newspaper of a cult, and
what a bummer it is to have food poisoning
and try to watch a play.
I hope we remember forever the memorial
where the twin towers once stood—
how beautiful the falling water is
and how grave.
This is the way the world is—
so lost and so precious all at once.
Each time something was tough,
I would say to myself, well, no one died.
But you and I know that sometimes
the one we love dies.
And we can bear it.
Not only can we bear it,
we can thrive. We will find beauty
and gravity everywhere we go
and still, we can love this world,
we can love each other,
still we can love, we can love.

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You are the movie
I hope never
reaches the credits,
the only reality show
I want to watch.
You are the star
in this cinema—
and the script writer,
the choreographer,
the costume designer.
Every day, I love watching
the unfolding plot of you,
marvel at your character arc.
You, the hero I cheer for
when life does its worst.  
You, the stunt girl
for whom I hold my breath.
You, the creator of your own sound track
in which you play jazz for dinner,
in which we sing along
in the car to Arctic Monkeys
and Taylor Swift and Wham!
I love your laugh track
when you hang out in your room
reading or watching
someone else’s movie.
You may not hear me clapping,
but I’m in a constant state
of standing ovation
as you meet whatever
your role brings you,
my heart pounding as you move
with such integrity
into the next frame.

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I count all the Tuesdays, Thursdays
and Saturdays from January to mid-July,
all those days in Florida
when you drove an hour
to dialysis and sat there for hours
as the machines removed toxins
and water from your blood,
then drove an hour home.
I multiply that number times
the number of miles and arrive
at a number that means devotion.
Means grit. A number that means
I will live for you as long as I am able.
Remember, Dad, how no matter
how early you had to rise,
no matter how difficult the drive,
no matter how inefficient the process,
you did it. And every time
you thanked the people
who were keeping you alive.
At the end, when you couldn’t stand,
couldn’t sit, couldn’t lift your own arm,
they took you to dialysis on a stretcher.
When they’d move you,
you’d moan in pain, howl, even,
as they twisted your body
in ways it no longer could twist,
and then, with deep humility,
you’d thank the nurses.
Did you ever see them cry, Dad?
I did. I saw them walk out of the room
into the hall and weep,
so grateful to be thanked
for doing the work that hurts.
Two thousand nine hundred ninety miles.
That was the number for six months.
A number that means life is hard and I want it.
A number that says my body is stopping,
but my love grows.
A number that means, Yes, I will meet you, death.
Butnot yet. Not yet.

PS–I want to honor that my mom drove my dad many of these times, and many other times in other cities–and she, in such courageous, humble ways, was devoted to dad’s health and healing.

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Sitting on folding chairs
in the dark, we talk
in hushed tones
as night birds swoop
and call across the lake.
The evening air is warm
and though I can’t see
the pale purple flowers
on the rosemary bushes,
I know they are there—
it’s the kind of night
I will someday miss most,
the kind when we speak
of plans and weather
and what’s for lunch tomorrow,
the kind of night
when we know full well
how else a night might go,
but for this night we
sit with the stars
and the sound of the train
and we snuggle deeper in.

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Your sister and I finished
this year’s gingerbread house—
not a duplex this time,
nor two condos connected
by a gingerbread bridge.
It’s a single house with angled walls
like in the Jan Brett illustrations.
How can I be so happy and so sad
at the same time?
It’s like being a rose
that has lost all its petals and yet
is in full petalled bloom.

There is, in every moment,
an opening that appears—
and I find I often stand
in the threshold, one foot
in now and the other
with you in eternity.
Then the kitchen
is not only a kitchen.
but a garden.
And every gardener knows
she must grow first herself.
And the baker knows
everything she makes
is made to disappear
in its prime.

And so it is on this night
of decorating gingerbread,
your sister and I use bright candies
and thin pretzel sticks to make
a one-room house
unlike any we’ve made before.
And we laugh. And I miss you.
My petals drift across the floor.
My petals open into wider bloom.

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It doesn’t come out well.
The blue icing is constellated
with dark chocolate crumbs.
And the icing itself, well,
the mixer broke last week,
so we stirred it by hand
and it’s lumpy.
But we did it, my daughter
and I, we made the cake
and frosted it and she even wrote
in lopsided white frosting cursive
Happy Birthday Timothée Hal C.
And neither of us cares
that the cake isn’t beautiful.
I don’t even like cake.
But I like baking in the kitchen
with my daughter, and I am eager
to celebrate just about anything right now—
morning, a bird at the feeder,
a clean window, feet, carrots, heck,
even the wonder of dish soap, and sure,
the birthday of the goofy
and beautiful Timothée Chalamet—
let’s have a party. Let’s bake a cake.
Let’s sing a song we all know
and light some candles.
Let’s make lavish wishes.
And if there isn’t sweetness
to be found, let’s make it.

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Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer970-729-1838 wordwoman.com
Watch my TEDx talk The Art of Changing Metaphors: TEDX Rosemerry Trommer

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Tonight I fall in love with the mirliton
in the blue and white tutu—the way
she leaps, the way she angles her arm.
Not that I didn’t love her before
when she was a soldier, when she
was a snowflake, when she was a bon bon
or an angel in frothy white fluff. But tonight,
more than anything, it is her smile
that makes me weep in row H.
Because it is real, her joy in the chassé,
the grande jeté, the pas de bourrée.
Because her joy is my joy. Because
I know what she’s danced through
to get to this stage where that smile
spreads across her face like the sunrise
the first morning after winter solstice—
an essential, growing light aware of the dark,
just learning what it can do.

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