Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘daughter’

Potica





Sitting in Colorado
I think of my parents sitting
in Illinois,
how tonight in different
kitchens together we savor
the Slovenian sweet bread
of my father’s childhood,
the sweet bread
his mother would make—
savor not just the taste
but the memory of the taste,
the paper thin crust,
the ground walnuts,
the honey.
Savor not just the loaf
but the memory of the hands
that once made the loaf,
the happiness as we ate it,
the communion in the joy.
Tonight, I break the bread
into tiny pieces, eat it slow,
imagine us at the same
loving table now
and years and years ago.
We are alone, not alone.
The bread tastes
like family, like home.



If you are unfamiliar with this Eastern European nutroll delicacy (pronounced puh-TEET-suh),  you can read more about it here.

Read Full Post »




If I could do it all again,
I would—every blooming bit of it.
Every bout of pink eye,
every snotty nose, every
late night waking, every
single reading of Good Night Moon,
every fairy house, every
drive to every ballet class,
every singalong to the entire
soundtrack of Hamilton,
every wobble and stumble
and blunder and lapse
to arrive at this very moment
when we lie on her bed
in the dark and talk about
this miracle, this astonishing
life, and watch dumb videos
and curl into each other.
In every moment, a seed.
It surprises me now,
how beautiful the field.

Read Full Post »


Happy Birthday Dad!


Into the boxes I slip
my father’s birth certificate,
his high school yearbooks,
his wedding album,
and the diploma for his PhD.
I fold waders and coats,
pack saws and hammers,
wires and electrical things
I can’t name—but he can.
I pack journals filled with notes
of his favorite trips,
crossbow arrows
and feathers for tying flies.
But a life doesn’t fit in boxes.
No way to pack his glittering eyes,
his quick smile, the way he laughs
in recognition as I hold up
an old favorite knife.
No way to pack the hard years,
the wrestling with pain,
his drive to show up anyway,
day after day,
determined to bring his best
to the world, determined
to love life outside
the box.

Read Full Post »




In the middle of the city
surrounded by sirens
my daughter and I stand in the dark
on the balcony
of my parents’ small apartment
and watch dozens of tiny fireworks on the horizon
and I am once again a girl of ten
and we are out on the boat
on Pewaukee Lake
and my mother teaches me
to say ooooooh as the firework colors
drizzle down in the sky,
then to clap and say ahhhhh for the next firework
right above us, sparkling as if we’re inside it.
Tonight my daughter and I oooh and ahh,
though the beauty is far away.
Sometimes it’s like that—
it feels as if beauty is a distant thing.
Perhaps even more important, then,
to celebrate it. To let the self
notice how dark it is,
to appreciate the dark,
to appreciate even in the distance a spark.

Read Full Post »




reminds me of the day
my dad held me
in front of him
while riding his bike
and fifty years later,
I remember most
the moments before
the bite of the spokes
when we were laughing
in the muggy Wisconsin June,
the sky dark with rain,
the joy of being held by him,
the thrill of going fast,
the wind in our faces.
I remember most
how he picked me up
as I cried and carried me
as if I were precious.
Fifty years later,
though he is the one
in pain, he still picks me up
and carries me every time
we speak. Thousands
of miles away, he holds
me close.

Read Full Post »




Will I remember this day with its greening of grass,
its blooming of apple blossom, its stilling of pond?
Will I remember the sweetness of my daughter
not leaving the house for school on a Wednesday
because her classes are all online? Will I remember
how she comes to snuggle on the couch during lunch
and pinches my cheeks and teases me about my ugly feet?
Will I remember the terrible yellow sticky casings
of the cottonwood seeds, how they glue to the hood
of my car that rarely moves from the drive? Or
the lavender in the garden that always looks
grey and dead before it erupts into fragrant life?
Perhaps there is some wave of presence
that will carry such stillness forward, a current
of quiet, a tide of tenderness that will insist
on itself for years to come. How forgettable
it all is—and how cherished—this swooping of swallows,
this opening of iris. How necessary, this holding
my daughter while the dark pool of night curls around us,
this cradling each other as we say nothing at all.  

Read Full Post »


            Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!


Because I can’t serve you
breakfast in bed, I’ll
serve you a poem,
and knowing how
you like cake for breakfast,
it will be a sweet poem,
with penuche frosting
swirled atop every line.
And because it is a poem,
we can imagine
that the mug with pictures
of your granddaughter
(due to arrive on Monday)
has already arrived
and that it is filled with
Café Vienna, and laced,
why not, with whiskey,
because, hey, it’s a poem,
and you won’t really
get drunk, just happily
tipsy on all the love
served between the lines,
the kind of love that makes you
lean back into the pillows
and close your eyes
and smile like you have
life’s best secret,
the kind of love that makes you
leap out of bed and laugh,
buoyed by joy, a bit of penuche,
creamy and sweet,
still singing on your tongue.

Read Full Post »

Missing My Dad

I hate riding in boats,
the way it makes
my body want to turn
inside out, hate the way
my body rocks for hours
after I’m back on land.
But I love the way
my father’s hands
rest on the wheel,
the way his eyes
scan the waves,
the easy slope
of his shoulders.
He’s so himself,
so whole, so someone
who I’m glad to know.
Standing on shore,
I wave at his boat,
as he points it
toward the deep.
He waves back
and smiles
with great love.
There are many
kinds of oceans—
time is one.
I hate the distances
we keep.

Read Full Post »

George of the Jungle




My father sings
and I am again
a girl being bounced
on his lap, wondering
if there really is
a jungle somewhere
where a monkey eats nails,
and why would a monkey do that,
and doesn’t it hurt?

My father is laughing,
his eyes glitter with tropical shine,
and I understand
he is traveling in a world
of imagination
and gave me
an invitation to go with him—

fifty years later,
we are still swinging
through that curious jungle,
singing, wondering
about that crazy monkey,
his strange choices,
blessing these surprising worlds
that bring us
together.

Read Full Post »

Dessert


 
Tonight it is cocoa powder,
flour, sugar and vanilla
that bring me and my daughter
together. The kitchen our mixing bowl,
time our whisk. The more we’re together
the more we laugh. How easily
distinct ingredients become a whole.
Easy as following a recipe
for chocolate cake, we slip
into the familiar banter,
the joyful two-step, the sweetness
we’ve been distilling since she
could first hold her own spoon.
In the air, hum of the oven preheating,
sound of us teasing, clang of the whisk
against the glass bowl. The cake,
it’s basically a delicious artifact,
a testament to this scent
of intimacy, like chocolate cake,
only much, much richer.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: