Thursday, September 30, 2010

Love is ...

Love is when you sing someone to sleep
Carrying him in your arms
His head heavy, warm, and slobbery on your shoulder
His arms pinned between your bodies and
Stretched down as straight as lines on a highway in North Dakota
So that he can manage to reach down and around his own crotch and
Get a fingertip hold on your arm

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Fists clenched
Arms to the side and shaking
Skin flushed
Face squinched up
Lips curled back revealing
Two rows of little teeth clamped together
With the hint of a smile barely visible on either side and
In the eyes
Which are as focused and tense
As his throat
As it lets loose a noise
Reminiscent of a mouse on steroids

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Breathing

I don’t say a word
I don’t look back
I don’t even stop walking
I just reach my hand back
She runs to catch up
She grabs my hand
We cross the street together

Monday, September 27, 2010

Socks

In Jeans and Sketchers
And a natty blue and peach striped polo
He’s a little man
Almost reminiscent of those prints that are always in doctor’s offices
Those prints of children in suits and
Dresses and
Romantic poses
Almost
But not quite
Since I put him in white sweat socks
Because I’ve never liked those prints and
I like my little boy

Sunday, September 26, 2010

%$#&

Colorful language
Still slips out from time to time
Lots of stuff happens from time to time
Which I don’t want to acknowledge
Shit happens
Fuck too
But now I feel guilty
If I do more than mutter it under my breath
So usually that’s what I do
Mutter
And occasionally give the cat my two cents worth
Though when they grow up
They will use it too
Regardless of how softly I mutter bitch or ass under my breath
Maybe my job is to teach them the right way to say “fuck”
Where to put the emphasis
How to sync up the hand gestures
Maybe
But more likely my job is to teach them the words and
How to properly feel guilty when they say them
That sounds like a job I could
Slip right into

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall Crafts

Trees still have green leaves;
Toilet paper roll, paper plate
Two kids and orange paint

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dark Juice

As the days get shorter and
Darkness begins to intrude into the world
That exists between
“Dada I’m up” and
The screaming and splashing of bath time …
The waking world
I am thinking more and more about
Dark juice
It haunts me
It intrigues me
It hides out there on the edge of my consciousness
Like yetis and vampires and
Vampire yetis and
Some troubling combination of
The Bear and his friends from Bear Snores On and
The Collins’ from Dark Shadows
After all
It sounds like a denizen of the night
A concoction from the dark side and
It is
Apparently
Alluringly undrinkable
If you are a four year old
If you are a grownup
It is kind of like the bell from Polar Express
It just tastes like juice
It’s not special and
It’s in a sippy cup that we’re not supposed to drink from
So it is as good as broken
My daughter thinks dark juice is broken and
Maybe me too
Since I don’t recognize the need to replace it with
Fresh juice
Light juice?
I always replace it
But as the light begins to leave the edges of my world
It calls to me in a sinister yet childish way
Which makes it even more sinister
Like a care bear with claws and fangs or an
Overweight Barbie
Glaring at Skipper on her little pink scooter and
Holding a weapon from GI Joe
Buffy would drink dark juice with Xander but
Not with Angel
Maybe that is why it intrigues me
Sitting there in a little pink cup
With an orange lid
Maybe
Now that it’s dark
I just can’t see the pink lid
Maybe I’m not supposed to know

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Limited Vocabulary

Noooo

Trash

Noooo

This
Ball

Moo, baa, hissss
Bock bock
Meow meow

Nooooo

Owl
Fish

Car
Bus
Boat
Baby

Uh oh
Ouch

Up mama
Up

Nooooo

Down

Cracker dada

Buh Bye

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Green Grapes

Green grapes
Clinging to the vine
In ignorance of what is about to happen but
Still afraid
Imagine if they knew that they were about to be cut in half and
If they are lucky
Eaten
I say lucky because
I wouldn’t want to be stepped on and
Cursed at or
Thrown across the room and
Cursed at or near or
Trapped in silence
In a diaper next to …
Well next to nothing good
So they are probably better off
Clinging in ignorance because
It truly isn’t easy being green
Not that red or black is much better

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Son

Beads and a purse and
A wrist full of silly bands or
Hair ties

A purple head band either
On the head
On the throat or
In the Lavar Burton over the eyes position

Holding a baby
Preferably one of sisters

Big smile
Blonde hair
Blue eyes
Penis

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Asleep

Asleep
Both of them were asleep
In the car on the way home
From Grammy and Poppy’s house and
It felt like a quiet moment
Along the allied trenches
Somewhere in France
In 1916
A quiet moment for conversation
Even contemplation
Amidst the ruins
Of cheerios
Dirty sippy cups
Dollies and bottles
Soccer balls
Old grocery lists
Receipts and
Google Map printouts
A quiet moment
Not meant to last
But meant to be savored
Both of them asleep and
Us awake
In the car on the way home
From Grammy and Poppy’s house
Us awake
And the two of them
Asleep

Friday, September 17, 2010

Safari Shirt

Today
A little man in a button up safari shirt
Complete with an Elephant
A giraffe
A tiger and
A macaw
Threw dirt on a slide and
Onto a friend
Climbed into more than one situation
Where he found himself or
Was found
At least four feet up in the air
Looking around for someone to notice
Yelled at a bunch of older girls
Causing them to cover their ears
Spun his dad around
With the help of a little friend and
Screamed bloody murder at least once or twice
All while looking impossibly and
Distressingly
Old in his
Khaki
Button up safari shirt
Complete with an Elephant
A giraffe
A tiger and
A macaw

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Four

Girls at four

“I’m not playing with you now
Why don’t you play with …”

Girls at four years old

“She can play with us, but not him.”

Girls at four years old
Remind me of Girls at fourteen

“Daddy
They don’t want me to play with them
On the green dinosaur.”

Girls at four years old
Though
Are still four year olds

“They told him he couldn’t follow us but
That’s not nice so
I told him he could follow us.”

Four year olds
Are full of pleasant surprises

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Looking Ahead

Emptiness
When I close my eyes and think of the future
It is emptiness that haunts me more than anything else
It is like that moment when you get a puzzle out and
Start separating out the border pieces and
You are counting the corners and
Setting them aside
First you find one
Then you find the second and
The third
But the fourth one never shows
Even though you know it was there
Because you did this puzzle last winter and
Nothing was missing then
But now it is gone and
It never shows up and
While you can keep putting it together
The puzzle is a little less interesting
A little less relaxing
A little less appealing
A little less and
That is exactly what happens as I look forward into my future
I see the pieces disappearing
One by one
Sometimes two by two and
gradually
There just being less and
More emptiness
When I close my eyes I see empty chairs and
It makes me cry

What does a cow say?

What does a cow say?
Mooooo.
What does a snake say
ssssssssssss.
What does a cat say?
Meew
Meew
What does a horse say?
Mooo
A horse says neigh.
What does an owl say
Aaaohhhwool
What does an owl say?
Mooooo.
An owl says whooooo.
What does a snake say?
Mooooooo.
It says hisssssssss.
Mooooooooo.
What does a cat say?
Moooooooooooo.

And now the only answer I will get is mooo
Or mooooooo
Or mooooooooooooo
And lots of laughter
I always know that
If the snake doesn't break through
Then the game is over or
it's just begun
I don't know which
So I just give up
and join in

Mooooooooo

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy 37th

Birthday Carrot Cake;
Red curry wild boar served with
Some pantaprazole

Last Day on the beach

Our last day on the beach
Was captured on video
Like the last moments
Around the water hole on the Savannah
Lions and elephants and
Long legged
Knobby kneed birds
All warily eyeing and
Vying for the last drops of water
The BBC didn’t capture us
Vying for the last days of summer
Granddad did but
We were thirsty just the same and
Not yet ready
To move on
From our last day on the beach

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tired Happy Parent

Tired
Happy
Parent

The tired part is a guarantee

I’m too tired to wax poetic or get too deep into the zen of parenting
So I will leave alone the question of the permanence of the parent part

So the only real variable is the happy part
Sometimes I feel too tired for that too
Sometimes it feels completely out of my control
But I don’t think I am
And I don’t think it is
It might be shared control
With a four year old
And an almost two year old
And a thirty three year old
And a twelve year old cat
And a set of inlaws
And my own parents
Whose ages shall all remain unknown although I think the truth is quite poetic
And who knows who else
But
At least its not guaranteed
Either way

Tired
Parent
Who
Can be
Wants to be
And is
Occasionally
Happy

That is guaranteed

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Falling

Falling
Not jumping
They are not jumping
No matter how far the chair is from the couch
They are not jumping
They are falling
Sometimes they fall one at a time
Sometimes together
Occasionally it has the look of mass production
Usually it is more mass than production
Make Way for Ducklings meets the Three Stooges
Always it is falling
Always it is loud
Sometimes it is rude and indignant
Sometimes it is playful and audience friendly
Occasionally it is cooperative
Usually it falls short of that or any other ideal
Whatever it is though
It’s not jumping

Monday, September 06, 2010

Later Summer

Midnight on the clock;
Air conditioner still on
Even as leaves fall down

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Path

I am walking a well trodden path
But doing it slowly and awkwardly
Doubling back here and again
Looking for something I may have missed
I’ve never been this way before
I’ve never gone this far in before
But it is all too familiar
And the familiar stretches on ahead as far as the eye can see
I suppose I could leave the path altogether
But where would I go
Wouldn’t I just end up back here anyway
Back on this path
This path from which there is no flying away
No digging under
Nothing to do with
Other than
Walk awkwardly
Walk slowly
Veer often
Occasionally double back
Or even lay down
It is a limited creativity
A common creativity
But
Well trodden though it is
It is all I have

Friday, September 03, 2010

Late Summer

Still eighty degrees;
She wears footie pajamas
Covered in snowflakes

Thursday, September 02, 2010

After the Playground

Small shirt wet with sweat,
Feet covered with dirt and sand
Washed with baby wipes

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

My son at the pool

Waving arms on deck …
Stillness in the pool surrounds
Outstretched arms inside