Thursday, March 31, 2011


Daffodills broke through
Forsythias broken out;
Low of thirty five

Time Out, I'm Two

A two year old
Taking some time to calm down
In the corner
Is either like a
Freshly made bed
With a mint on the pillow and
A fluffy white bath robe hanging on the door
When you’re at home or
Planted last year
Poking their heads up through the dirt
This year
It’s something else entirely
Something you see late at night
On a lonely and
Dimly lit
Street corner
That makes you go home and
Lock all the doors

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Diapers are full of ...

They might be the final frontier
For man and
Surely sometimes I feel like I am in outer space or
Speaking an alien language or
Doing something as unheard of as walking on the moon and
Sometimes I am treated as if I am doing something
Unheard of
Something that must be being filmed in a Hollywood back
Something that should be on television and
Not in their lives or
In their family
To me
It’s always just a diaper or
A play group or
Groceries or
A consignment sale or
A sprint around the room with jeans on my head yelling “poop”
After every word a two year old could possible know and
I think shit
Is shit

Monday, March 28, 2011

Daddy, Mommy is on line one

I wonder if it ever gets old
Obama must have heard it a million times by now
Mr. President
I need to speak with you
Mr. President
The Prime Minister of England is on line one
Mr. President
We have a situation
Mr. President
Bo had an accident in the Oval Office
I’m betting that it doesn’t but
The only title of importance I’ve ever held is
Daddy and
While my heart still races a bit
Every time one of my kids uses it and
At least once a day
It still leaves me completely awe struck
I don’t know if
The heart flutter and
The irrepressible smile
Translates to
Less important titles

Friday, March 25, 2011

Imagining at 37

My children can look at two
Monogrammed Pottery Barn Kids Anywhere Chairs
One dark blue
One light blue
Facing each other
In front of a book case
With a toddler bed rail
Blocking access in or out and
Imagine a train
I need the wooden train whistle and
The microphone from the karaoke setup
To keep up but
I’m not two or four anymore

Thursday, March 24, 2011


He’s two
So when I ask him if he wants a hug he says yes and
Sometimes he even looks at me
With his eyes and
His smile
For another
I never turn him down and
I hug him until the exact moment he indicates
He’s done
Every single time
He won’t be two forever

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Signs of the Apocalypse

Is it just paint in my hair or
Is it foreshadowing
Is weathered glass a hair color
Would I want it if it was
There would be poetry in a
Change from red to blue hair
But not everything poetic is good
Maybe hair is a prose thing
A phenomenon best explained
Without alliteration or
Metaphor or
Hidden meaning
I was born with red hair
My hair gradually grew less red
Although even now it still isn’t brown
Especially in the summer and
My beard
My arm hair and
All the rest is still clearly red
So far the only gray is really blue/green and
It was painted on
Along with the bathroom walls but
Now I can’t lift my arm easily to my face
To deal with that white hair poking out of my beard
That’s not just paint
Is it

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Emily Dickinson and Fukushima Daiichi

Emily Dickinson was haunted by the ‘deepening menace’ of death
Many of those close to her died and
She lived across from a cemetery and
She was human like the rest of us and
Smarter than most of us
So she knew what awaited and
Could imagine what didn’t and
It troubled her
She knew well that
Sometimes the truths’ surprise isn’t superb
Or surprising
Like when
It rides in on a wave and
Vents out of a damaged nuclear reactor and
Falls down on those who would stand up to oppression
But especially when
It comes at us in the form of tombstones
New pains
Old friends
Oil covered birds washed up on beautiful beaches
Documentaries about euthanasia
Births in the front seat of cars and
Begonias in the winter
It’s dazzling and
Haunting and
Blinds us all eventually
Even if we never really look
At the menace all round us and
In us

Monday, March 21, 2011

I've started drinking tea

I've started drinking tea
Coffee is still a step too far
I wear a compression stocking now and
Weed of my own volition and
Mulch and
Plant trees
My Grandfather planted trees and
I thought he was silly but
I cut coupons now and
I even know when it is time to cut off an activity
So that we can eat or
Bathe or
Go to bed or
So that I can mete out discipline
I have a serious voice now
So I can do the discipline thing
I even like to lie still for a moment or two and
Worry about credit card balances and leaky roofs
I know the end is probably upon me but
I’m not getting out the white sneakers and
Wearing them with everything
Just yet
So you can keep the lattes and mochas and whatever
I don’t even want coffee ice cream
It’s still just a little too much
A little too far

Friday, March 18, 2011

brief, deciduous, ephemeral, evanescent, flash, fleeting, fugacious, fugitive, impermanent, passing, short-lived, temporary, transient, momentary

Her blue beach umbrella goes tumbling across the beach and
Into the ocean
I could have been right behind it but
I hesitated
I looked at my compression stocking
I heard my screaming children
I retreated
I regrouped
It collapsed
Glimmered for a moment
A spot of brighter blue and then
Disappeared into the waves

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Evening

In a corner of our
Not so expansive
In Levittown
The kids are celebrating the coming of spring
This is the third or fourth time so far but
The first time that they haven’t needed winter coats and
They don’t collapse into fits of wheezing and coughing when they run
They can’t even see their breath
Underneath the umbrellas
Attached to their red and blue beach chairs
So I think whatever they're doing must be working
Maybe we should let them stay a little longer and
Bring out their babies to lie out underneath the Dora umbrella
Maybe we should but
As much as I would love the warmer weather to arrive for good
I need more time to prepare the garden beds and
Spring isn’t the only thing that is coming
To Levittown
At seven at on a week night
Coming too quickly
As it always does
Nighttime isn’t as patient with day
As spring is with winter
The only thing that lingers longer than winter
Is a kid
In weather over forty degrees
At bedtime
In our suddenly plenty big enough
In Levittown

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The end.

It will all run out someday
Seep away
Explode into a supernova or
Be washed away in a river of unnamed carcinogens and
However it happens
Someone will pull the plug
Whether supernatural or not or
Intentionally or not and
Not at all supernatural
Will be there to know the end has come and
Will have the chance
To feel as if
Anything is possible

I know that

I know that
I may not always walk down the paths or
End up in the places
I would or
Have chosen
Especially now but
I know that
Someday I’ll dream of little hands and
They’ll be gone and
I know that
Now they’re everywhere and
On everything and
Each time he takes my hand in his
I know that
I am exactly where I want to be

Tagger Gun

Tagger gun
Staple gun
What do you say
Take out the trash or
Fly away

By Seren

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bamboo Dreams

White polyethylene cutting boards
Extend in every direction
And not a one of them is new
They all bear the marks
Of use
Who knows how many chicken breasts
Loaves of foccacia bread
Have passed this way
But now
They are gone
And I am alone
Forced to look for something random in the knife marks
And find nothing
Except one pattern after the other

Friday, March 11, 2011

True Sacrifice Isn't

I’ve never thrown myself in front of a bus
So that someone else might avoid that gruesome fate
I’ve never charged across a mountain pass
Exposed to enemy fire
In order to rescue seven of my buddies
My mom didn’t either and
She never received the key to the city
Any city and
I haven’t seen my mother accessorizing with
A purple heart or
The Congressional Medal of Honor
She doesn’t have one and
I would have been the first to say she didn’t deserve one but
A funny thing happened
I started waking up to something other than an alarm
Something more organic and more persistent
Humming or
More frequently now
Singing or
Sometimes screaming and
I can hear it
Even when no one else can
I can hear it and
I respond
Not out of fear or
Adrenaline or
I’m a runner
I have no instinct and
Adrenaline doesn’t keep you going for eighteen or
Twenty or
How old am I?
I choose to respond
In the cold and harsh light or
Of morning
I choose to respond
Just as my mother and father chose to respond
Not for a medal
Though I would take one
I choose to respond because when I drag myself out of bed and
Up the stairs
Waiting for me
On the other side of a door
I have to open
Is a two year old boy
In urine soaked pajamas
Who wants to hug me
It might not accessorize well
Even if I had to walk the better part of a day
Just to find a bus
To throw myself in front of
For it
I would

Thursday, March 10, 2011

To Do List

Get the kids dressed
Pack the backpack for school
Pack snacks in the diaper bag
Scoop cat litter
Set up roofer estimates
Put shower doors on curb before trash day
Break up branches that have been sitting on the porch since last year
Put a coat of primer on the walls in the bathroom
Pick up rooms
Make dinner
Take out diapers
Lay out the kids clothes for the next day
Tidy up
Teach my course
Check my e-mail

Parenthood is ...

brain freeze.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Snapshot Sexuality

As if Parents didn’t have enough sleepless nights already
Now we have to worry about how we are recording
Our children’s
Even more than we did before
Now people are looking back to snapshots to confirm their sexuality
Of little kids
Sometimes four
Two or
Apparently show that homosexuality is genetic and
That there is no such thing as
Dress casual
Hands on your hips
You’re gay
In a spacesuit or
Have frumpy hair
You’re a lesbian
Your parents put you in a yellow clingy onesie
You’re justified in having anal sex
I’d laugh
If I didn’t have to think more carefully
About whether
I should be capturing my son wearing a tiara or
My daughter wielding a sword
It may influence the direction of their lives
It may just make them sleep more soundly at night
Any parent can tell you
Is no small matter

Parenthood is ...

an antique that you are too nervous to take into the Antique Roadshow.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

From fingernails to eggs

You can add the sound of the cracking of pretend eggs
To fingernails on the chalkboard
At least in my book
At least in my life
Where every evening three of us cook in the kitchen
All of us using my pots and pans and whisks
And only one of us not using wooden eggs and
Milk cartons and
Producing the lowest calorie food possible
On the floor
Of my kitchen
Of my life
Where the wooden eggs
React quite angrily to being
Subjected to the pantomime
Of cracking
Sounding like a baby chicken caught in a teapot and
Being quite inconsolable and
Quite real
At least to my ears
Which don’t even hear as well as they used to
When I sat in a classroom with a chalk board and
Feared something more than wooden eggs
At five in the afternoon
On my kitchen floor

Parenthood is ...

all about the art of benign and even good intentioned obfuscation.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Friday, March 04, 2011


Kindergarten is not reached by crossing the river Styx
Or even a room filled with Styx music
But from here
Only a few months away from that first day and
With registration now behind us
It kind of seems like it
On this side is a little girl
Who still wants to marry her brother and
Live with us forever
Who still runs and jumps in our arms and
Wants us to cuddle and sing her to sleep
On the other side is something different
Something scary
But what can we do
But the only thing we want to do
Keep on loving her

Parenthood is ...

an opportunity for your lacrimal glands to get frequent exercise.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Tongue with butter

I threaten to eat his tongue
And make the faces that I imagine Snidely Whiplash might make
If he was interested in eating Dudley Do-Rights tongue
He smiles
A completely non-sinister smile
Throws his hands over his face
And says “hide”
Then we touch foreheads
And both laugh
And he says “more”
Just as he does when I turn the television off
Now it works

Parenthood is ...

work in a minefield deciding which mines should be defused and which simply taken note of and avoided.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Unfinished Projects

Life is like a home repair job
Seemingly always over budget and
Unfinished and
Never quite able to fulfill your expectations
On the bright side
There will always people to blame and
One of them will always be you

Parenthood is ...

the opposite of a long walk in the woods at dusk.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Boogers For Dinner

Tonight we had boogers for dinner
She told me she can’t say it any other way
So we were having boogers
Not burgers and
Certainly not berbers
She told her brother that he couldn’t say berbers
She told him again and again
Until he was screaming and crying and
I wanted to
Because we absolutely weren’t eating berbers

Parenthood is ...

... like being King George ... any of them.