Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Annual Check Up




The doctor checks their pulses,

their ears, their throats,

knee reflexes and weight

and dubs them healthy,

gives them high fives

without mentioning

(did he not notice?)

that they have wings.

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One Almost 5’10




the tree I planted

now taller than I—

my empty hand

still remembering

the weight of the acorn

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the wind tugs the leaves

off the aspen trees, many

before they’re golden—


children, I say, I love you,

and kiss their green ears

their green heads as I send


them to school,

tell them to go

do beautiful things

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In Knots



I’ve spent years learning to tie the monkey’s fist,

wrapping the long working end of the rope

around the fingers of my hand. While rocking

and nursing and feeding and soothing, I’ve held

the first set of turns in place, then made three more turns

with the rope. While reading and chasing and

swinging and catching, I’ve learned to pass the end

through the inside of the knot, to make turns inside

other turns. And pull it all tight, just so.


I have wanted to perfect this heaving line knot,

something I might use to throw to my son

to save him when he drifts away.

I have practiced the art of the throw, but it seems

I have tied my own hands by accident.

And now that it’s time to untether the line,

my hands want only to practice what they know,

holding on, holding on, holding on,

how clumsy this new art, letting go.

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The night is enormous—

big enough to hold us both

in a way that make us

seem close.

This is why I speak to you

through the stars—

not because I think

that they can hear,

but because I pray

you can.

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I tell myself this is how love begins,

with a grumble. A rock in the shoe.

The flowers dead. Sleet.

This is how love begins, with taunting.

With mud on its feet. It begins

when we can’t imagine loving.

It begins when there is no light.

This is how love begins. When

we’re too exhausted to fight,

and as we slump, a door appears,

and we can’t imagine not

walking through it.


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In Room 224




My daughter is still asleep

after stealing the sheets

all night. I finally let her

have them all and I’ve risen

to watch the snow not fall

outside the window.

It is gray, and from where

I sit on the floor, I’m not sure

if it’s gray because it’s too early

for sun or because it’s cloudy.

I don’t want to move

or make a sound—

would rather not wake

my daughter. They are rare,

these moments alone.


A truck rattles by outside.

I notice I am noticing the truck.

That’s a lot of noticing

for something so insignificant,

I think to myself,

then I’m startled by a laugh,

a full belly laugh, in the bed

beside me. My daughter, dreaming,

can’t stop giggling.

God, I think, it’s great

to have a body,

and on this cold, gray morning,

gratitude finds me and

body slams me

with my wild luck,

pins me with joy

to be this very woman

on the floor in room 224

not at all alone.


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