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Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

“We all make mistakes,” I say.
I know she hears me.
I look out the window.

From under the quilt,
she says nothing.
Only her eye is visible

through a fold. I catch it,
then look at the leafless cottonwood.
Somewhere, a dog

is barking. Somewhere,
the scent of almond.
“And then,” I say, “we have

a chance to learn.”
The snow in the yard
flashes against the low sun.

A robin finds a spot
where spring is stealing in,
the grass already greening

between the porch and the snow.
“And sometimes,” I say,
“our mistakes hurt other people.”

In the other room, the sound
of a timer. The sound of
a sponge running over

the nap of the couch.
“And if we hurt someone,” I say,
“it can be important to tell them

we are sorry. But only,” I say,
“when we really are sorry.”
I look out the window,

wanting to notice something
instead of my own quiet hands.
My hands smooth the quilt

where her small hip rises.
I say, “We don’t always know
why we do what we do.”

The timer again. Scent
of almond. Scent of butter.
I say, “Mommy makes

mistakes, too.” I watch
the words as they leave
my mouth and land on the walls,

the quilt, the sill.
A dog barks. Again.
Sharp bleat of the timer.

I close my eyes. Neither
of us moves. Inside me
a door opens. I feel what’s left

of my anger leave with a limp.
“Do you want to ask me anything?”
I say. Slowly, she pulls the cover

away. Her face is soft, guileless
as fruit on a tree. She says
nothing, but perhaps I hear

in her the sound of a door opening.

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Gravity Tanka

only after
my own arms
relaxed
did I feel how I am
so gently being held

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my daughter
and I, two small points
beneath a sky
of infinite small
bright points

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