Friday, November 26, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Squash

Squash cooks fast
Which is good
Because two year olds move faster
Faster than just about everything
Except maybe butter melting
In a microwave
Turned on high
Four year olds aren't quite that fast but
They're more challenging
Kind of like trying to get stiff peaks in egg whites but
Not quite as bad as a meringue
Together they're a blur
So Thanksgiving Dinner is too
From the first chopped celery
Right through to the rolls
I'm thankful if there isn't a catastrophe or
A calamity or
Continuous chaos
So I pushed for squash because
It cooks fast

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

honesty can be tricky

We were pulling away from nursery school
When she asked me to read the name
On the Native American headdress
She was wearing
I tried my best to do just that
I read every word on the thing at least three times
I used different voices
I searched every square inch for
Whatever it was I was missing
That was causing her to scream no and
Dissolve into tears
But I could see only the name we had given her at birth and
"Princess Sit Bull."
Finally
Clearly exasperated with my cluelessness
She indignantly informed me
That she was
Princess Bull Sit And
After a short pause
I filled the remainder of the ride home
With the story of Sitting Bull and
The promise of lunch

Getting Lucky

Always tired
Often sick
Sometimes defeated
Sometimes sad
Sometimes hopeful
Usually amused
Often annoyed
Sometimes surprised
Sometimes bored
Sometimes laughing hard
Sometimes chuckling
Sometimes smiling inside
Sometimes having my back or leg or face
Rubbed by a little hand or
Kissed with little lips
Occasionally content
Often aware of just how lucky I am

Monday, November 22, 2010

Deep Thoughts

I try hard in my life not to be too thoughtful or deep or
Disappointed with normalcy
Now
The fact that I am consciously trying to do this probably says plenty
As does the fact
That it’s taken several years of being home with the kids
But just yesterday I realized that
I actually enjoy raking leaves
And shopping
And Cooking
Even with the kids
And that it’s really not all about succeeding or
Even exceeding expectations
I think that my son was sitting on my chest yesterday
When the revelation hit
So it may have been a lack of oxygen to the brain
But it wasn’t the first time
And it is only now that I am writing a poem about it
And
Well
Maybe I won’t think any more about it

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Naked Train

Deals this good don’t come along very often …
My son agreed to let me take him upstairs
If I let him ride on my back
Naked
While
We both made
Choo choo noises
It wasn’t without risk and
I ended up giving a second ride
To a larger and heavier naked child but
We’ll use the photos at his wedding and
Moments like that don’t come along very often

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Light

For Uncle Jim

Into the light or
Into the dark
I don’t really know but
I’m sure it’s not out of the darkness
Regardless of how dark the last year
Or two
Must have seemed
There’s always a glimmer
There was a glimmer and it
Wasn’t just in someone else’s
Blue eyes or
Curly hair or
Amazing brains and ass combination
Though she noticed them all but
It wouldn’t have mattered
Even if she hadn’t or
Hadn’t been interesting
Interested
Quirky or
Fun
To anyone
There is always light
Here in this place we have
Imagined
Built
Lived in
Passed thorough and
Will all one day
Pass on
Whether we always see it or
Not

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

True Love

Every nap and
Every night
He says goodnight and
Blows kisses
To a yellow die-cast metal school bus
With pull back action
Which stopped producing much action at all
Shortly after his big sister received it
In a gift bag at the birthday party of a little boy
Whose family moved out of town
Several years ago
It’s also missing two of its little rubber wheels and
Has two big pieces of double stick tape on top it
Where mom tried to attach two little wooden figures
Before he decided that he didn’t want
Little wooden figures
On top of the bus
It’s a good thing that the guys are gone
Because it was a lot harder to tuck it in
To the seat of the
Little Tykes red Family Van and
It isn’t any harder
However
To blow it a kiss
Say “bye bye” and
Lovingly rubs its side

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Winston Churchill and Gummy Vitamins

I wonder if Churchill fortified his indomitable spirit
By taking gummy vitamins from his son Randolph or
Even a grandchild
While he stood in the shower
Stark naked
I’ve tried all day to get the visual out of my mind
Winston in nothing but a top hat
A cigar sticking out of his mouth
Which is drawn up in a friendly sort of scowl
Hand outstretched
Ready to take the vitamin
For what choice would he have had after
His son or grandson’s
Face dropped at Winston’s initial refusal
I imagine he would have flashed a victory sign at the boy
As he thoughtfully chewed on the vitamins
He’d of probably taken three as
He had a pretty stressful job
I stay at home so
My spirit doesn’t have to be quite as indomitable
I took two

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nightime in November

Gas station lights up
Wet leaf trapped in wiper blade;
Cold rain all around

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hand Washing

Today he washed his hands
With imaginary water and
Dried his hands
On an imaginary towel
Not once
Not twice but
Three times
Without ever imagining a single activity that could have
Made his hands dirty but
Never forgetting to take the towel from me
When his hands were wet and to
Hand the towel back to me
After they were dry and
Never forgetting to wear a smile that
Wasn’t the least bit imaginary

Sunday, November 14, 2010

she put on his shoes today

She put on his shoes today
His shoes and his socks
All by herself and
It took as much time as you’d think it would and
As you can guess
We were running late but
In the midst of
Grabbing matching sweatshirts and
Filling up water bottles and
Checking directions and
Loading the car with
Pumpkin pancake batter and
Bacon and
Fruit
She put on his shoes for him
Patiently
Carefully
Lovingly
She even put the socks on his hands first
To make him smile
Although we’ll tell folks for a week or two
It won’t make the wedding video
It won’t but
Maybe it should because
She put on his shoes for the first time today and
That won’t happen ever again

Friday, November 12, 2010

not not

When he says “not not,”
You have to be ready
He only gives you a few seconds to
Insert the “who’s there”
Before he is on to “boo”
He’ll wait longer for “boo who”
But he won’t wait forever
So don’t trouble yourself with
Whether it is boo who or boo hoo or
Who will say “don’t cry”
No one will say it
There won’t be time for you because
He can’t and
He can say “not not”
He can say “boo” so
Be ready and
Be efficient and
You may be able to squeeze in a laugh or two
He’ll appreciate it
Whether he says so or
“not not”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Responsibility

Driving on a hilly road
Under railroad bridges
While my almost two year old son
Yells quack and
Smiles expectantly
Waiting

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Aspic

Usually having a daughter is like eating Chicken aspic
Familiar yet exotic
More than just pleasant yet unmistakably disturbing
Sometimes having my daughter is
Like eating tomato aspic
When you have acid reflux and an
Allergy to 50’s cookbooks and
I have acid reflux but
I like fifty’s cookbooks and
I like the idea of jello and meat together
It’s a better combination than peanut butter and chocolate and
Hershey’s bought that for twenty three and a half million
Back in nineteen sixty three
I actually like aspic and
My daughter is a good one
A complete meal
Maybe poached salmon in aspic or
Sashimi in aspic
I’m not sure there is such a thing
As sashimi aspic but
I’m not always sure there can be such a thing as
My daughter

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thirty Feet

At two it’s thirty feet
That’s the limit
He won’t go any further
Even if he wants to
He stops
Looks back and
Calls my name
Not quite a scream but
Too loud for polite conversation
He won’t come back but
He won’t go any farther
Someday
Of course
He will but
Hopefully he’ll always look back

Monday, November 08, 2010

Parental Privilege

For me
The best thing about marriage and fatherhood
Is that the first hug of the day is
Never the last

Sunday, November 07, 2010

ruminations on my father-in-law's 67th birthday

Hunter gatherers in the Kalahari
Use Ostrich eggs to drink water out of
Ostrich eggs are the largest of all eggs and
The yolk is the largest single cell
You can eat them too but
Make sure to have salt and pepper and
Maybe garlic and some other spices because
Apparently they aren’t that tasty
The egg shells can fetch at least twenty dollars
On the internet which
Is why the guy who runs the little
Antique shop and tree farm
That my daughter’s play group went to this week
Is sad that his ostrich hasn’t laid one in two years
I was surprised he had an ostrich
I knew about the carousel,
Kiddie rides, and
Miniature train but
I was surprised by the
Llama
Alpaca
Emu
Pygmy goat and
Ostrich
The Ostrich was forty years old
My daughter
Who is unusually insightful for four
Called it a Flamingo
The guy said it could live to be seventy but
That her egg laying days were over and
Thus he had glued a broken egg together because
They were twenty dollars on the internet
The Ostrich didn’t seem troubled as
She waited for a slice or two of apple
She seemed relieved
Thirty years to go and
No need to produce anything
To eat
Drink out of or
Sell and
I could have sworn that
As we drove out of sight
She stood on one leg and
Winked

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Alone

For me
It’s 2:30 to 3:30
Every day
Kind of
Sort of
As long as alone
Can include listening to two children on baby monitors
While one is asleep and
The other is performing her one woman
Musical act
Complete with dolls, stuffed animals, and
The occasional invisible elephant

And it’s from 9:30 until whenever I go to bed
Depending on whether it’s not

I prefer not
Really
I do
Don’t get me wrong
I like
Teaching
Blogging
Applying for jobs and
Nashing my teeth over Lebron James and the BCS

I also enjoy watching movies
But not alone
Truthfully
I’d rather listen to my children and
Their mother
Sleeping

So
I stay at home

So
I watch movies in three installments

So
What about you?
When are you alone?

Friday, November 05, 2010

Evaluation

Three adults
And
Two parents
And
One word list
Forty some words long
And
Blocks
The little wooden ones with letters on them
And
An old spice container filled with little wooden rods
Just the right size to fit through the holes
And
Colored plastic cups
And
A wooden puzzle with very big pieces
And
A roomful or two of toys that didn’t come in
Two duffle bags
One black and one blue
And
A fancy apple laptop for taking notes
And
Lots of questions
And
Lots of jargon
And
One 23 month old boy
Happy Birthday
Almost

Thursday, November 04, 2010

George Lee Anderson

Writing a poem is never quite enough but
My son is almost two and
It’s winter
So I can’t put him in the
Size 12 months
Tigers shorts and shirt
I don’t really like baseball enough
To come up with a convincing argument as
To why it’s necessary or
How it looks good to wear shorts on top of jeans
‘I should have done something when Chuck Daly passed’
Isn’t going to work
Still, I’d like to honor the moment in some way
With the kids
Maybe a meditation ceremony
The bless you boys meet Buddha
It would be a great learning experience
If death were a good topic for two and four year olds to learn about
But I remember what happened when I showed
Her a you tube video of the plane
Flying into the World Trade Center so
I’m sorry Sparky
This poem
Is going to have to be enough

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Herding Cats

I imagine that trying to herd cats is like
Trying to put together a thousand piece puzzle
With a four year old
It’s rewarding as long as
You’re patient and
Not allergic

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

My lunch

My lunch is my life
Made last
Made fast
Eaten even faster
A piece of a nugget here
Half a yogurt there
A slice of cheese
A piece of candy snuck in
On one of fifteen or twenty trips into the kitchen
Just
A complete blur
That has little to do with sustenance and
Everything to do with
Reading words in the newspaper
Finishing a whole yogurt and telling the world about it
Stacking juice cups
Laughing at the cat
Laughing at each other
Laughing at the idea that I’m going to eat slowly or well
At lunch
Or any other time
For the next few years
Laughing at my lunch
Laughing with my life

Monday, November 01, 2010

first hint of colder weather

sweatpants and long sleeves
sheet with comforter on top;
not yet wearing socks

I am here

I know where I am
It’s eleven thirty
I’m in my office and
I just helped my daughter
Walk down the dark hallway to the bathroom
Waited while she went pee and
Escorted her back to her bed
Where I gave her a kiss and
Told her I loved her and
That I would see her in the morning
I know my place
She called for help and
I helped
If she calls again
I’ll help again
I know where I am
I know my place
I know I won’t always be here

The Day After Halloween

Can see my own breath;
Won’t see the Jack O’ Lantern
For another year