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Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

 

 

 

And though he struggles to conjugate estar

and though his adjectives precede the nouns,

he’s doing it. He’s telling me about una foto

and all its themes—and though the words

are like strange spices in his mouth—paprika

y cilantro—and though he insists he hates it,

there is a tender sinceridad in his voice, like

a tree seed, perhaps, una semilla, that has

some vague idea of its potential, but is still

so trapped in its seed-ness that it is intimidated

by trees. And whatever part of me that is todavia

una semilla recognizes itself. How frightening

to see all that we do not know, to stand

beneath it like the shade of a giant tree,

to know ourselves as small and still stand straight.

My son finishes his descripción, then smiles

at me, and in his smile, I somehow see

the roots, the greening leaves, the trunk

as it reaches up doing what trunks are made to do.

 

 

 

 

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And though I can’t remember

what I wrote last night, which seems

like ten years ago, I rattle off,

a body at rest remains at rest and

a body in motion remains in motion

until acted upon by an external force,

and then, mid-sentence, I have some small

fantasy about being a body at rest,

a body at rest that stays at rest, a body

at rest that is somehow entirely unacted upon,

not by breakfast, not by school, not by work,

not by mewling cats or errant bears

traversing the porch, not by nightmares

nor bladder nor hot flash nor chill,

and I think to myself that Newton

was really, really on to something,

some sweet world he posits

that I now long for, a world

where a woman might find

such rest, might be such a body.

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Though I have hours of work to do

I lie beside him until I feel

the quiet do what quiet does,

the fight and fuss leave his muscles,

and the growl and gruff leave my sighs

until we are at last two breaths

beside each other, soft and tender,

two hearts in the dark

with their walls down.

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In April, the Harvard

Department of Physics

issued a study suggesting

the universe will end the way

it began, with a bang. in fact,

they say, there’s likely a bubble

of true vacuum “barreling

toward us at the speed of light.”

The moment we see the bubble

will barely precede the moment

it destroys us.

 

And still, despite their findings,

I rise every morning in the dark

and make my children lunches.

Evenly spreading the butter

onto my daughter’s bread.

Slicing the cheese thin as hope,

just the way my son likes it.

As if making their lunches

really matters in these moments

before our demise.

Yes, I select the firmest apples.

Toast the walnuts

with maple syrup and salt

so they sing in the mouth,

both savory and sweet.

As if they will eat the food

and taste love. As if

they’re important, these

things that we do.

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On Point

 

 

 

Sewing the ribbons

onto point shoes for the first time

I again feel clumsy

 

in this art of parenting.

Angle the ribbons,

or stitch them on straight?

 

How far from the back seam

does the elastic go?

How snug the fit?

 

How secure the stitch?

It was not so long ago

I didn’t know how warm

 

the bath. How tight

the swaddle. How

to soothe when the babe

 

was unable to say

what was wrong.

So little has changed,

 

me in the late hours

puzzling over lack

of instructions,

 

wanting so badly

to do it right, wishing

for some elusive grace,

 

astonished by how enormous

the love, the ribbon

running through my fingers.

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One Parenting

 

 

in the same hand

I hold the rope to bind you,

the scissors to cut you free

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Mom, just relax. Let me take you to a place where there are no bunions, no bruises, no violence, no Donald Trumps, no unhappy thoughts.

            —Vivian Trommer, 10

 

 

Start with the scent of chanterelle cream sauce

still lingering from dinner. Throw in a few stars—

you can’t see them, but you know they are there.

 

Add a tickle. A giggle. A kitten-ish squeal.

Rub tenderly. Then hard. Then forget for a while

to rub. Add a hum, and the dark that can’t enter

 

the room. Add moon. And cocoon. An impending

soon. And the sound of the river never ending.

An inkling of joy. A hunch of perfect. A hint

 

of this can’t last. Choose that. Distill to precisely

this moment. Any sorrow or pain

that might wish to rise, it is only a background

 

flavor that shows up how sweet this magic,

how sometimes the best recipe is the one

that uses exactly what we have on hand.

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Like every other day, today

it is apparent that only love

will save us. Not in the grandiose

abstract way, but in the alarming

specific way. As in forgiveness, now.

As in choosing to hug instead

of fighting back. As in taking

three deep breaths before saying

something we regret. It saves us

from thirsting in the desert of our lives,

but only if we save it first by

choosing it, now in this moment

of angry words, now in this moment

of clenched thoughts, now in

this moment when we’d rather

taste venom but instead, we

pour love into our cup and

bring it to our lips and drink

and drink until once again

it is only love that makes sense,

only love that refills the cup.

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as if sweet talk

or threats might make

the rain fall up

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I know that things just don’t grow if you don’t bless them with your patience.

            —Emmylou, First Aid Kit

 

 

watering the sunflowers

it will be months before

even a bud appears—

watering the sunflowers

watering the sunflowers

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