Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lonely Demouement

An older white woman
A little on the heavy side
Wearing a blue dress
Sitting in a white chair
On the grass
In the middle of a quarter mile track
Under clear blue skies
With not a cloud in sight and
Sweat starting out from her white wicker hat and
Down her neck
No expression at all on her face

Today I learned that my mother in law’s grandmother
Collapsed and
At the high school graduation of her son

I never met her
Never knew a thing about her
Until today
I Still haven’t laid eyes on a picture of her or
Talked about her with anyone who has
But I can see her and

It’s hot
There is a program in her hand
A white handkerchief on her lap and
She is sitting by herself even
Though there are rows and rows of chairs in the grass and
A stage
With even more chairs and
A lectern
In front of where she is sitting
On that quarter mile track
On a day in early June
Motionless and

Thursday, October 27, 2011

In With the Cold

The air conditioner
Leaves a wet trail across the room
A cold breeze behind it


My father has hired an interior decorator
It took him over seventy years to do it
But the man who rebuilt engines
Fished, trapped, and
Shot his finger off
Has hired an interior decorator and
Is mildly satisfied so far
My father’s mildly satisfied is most folks ecstatic
So it’s a noteworthy development
Of course
Truth be told
The last live fish he was associated with
Not in a bowl
Could have easily fit in one and
Was an isolated incident
At the end of an eight
Nine or
Ten year olds pole
Since then
Car racing
Photography and
Have all come calling so
Why not
Swatches of fabric and
A whole medley of taupes
I’ve never rebuilt an engine or
Trapped anyone or anything other than myself and
That poor little guy I lucked upon in the Lake
While dad was sailing
So as soon as I have the money
I’m probably ok
To get some professional help
Capturing a divine design

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

From Moment to Moment

It was almost five
I was standing in the middle of the kitchen
Cat not fed
Dinner not started
Dishes not done
Laundry needing to be fluffed and folded
Completely unsure of what I needed to do next and
What I had meant to do next and
Whether I should be worried
That my son was lying across the coffee table on his stomach
It was one of those moments and
I knew I had to do something
So I said something instead
“I’ve lost my train of thought”
With that my son sprang up and ran into the kitchen
Wearing the look of someone who has just gotten a job
After having been out of work for more than a year
“I’ll help you daddy”
“I’ll help you find it” and
Just like that
It was a completely different kind of moment
Even though it was still almost five

Monday, October 24, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Cost of Color

What is the price of all that color
Oranges that conjure everything from pumpkins to
Carrots to
Habanera peppers to …
Well … oranges and
Along with reds bring a bit of heat to
Cool autumn days
Reds that remind one of flames and
Fire trucks and
Antique Chinese furniture
Yellows that conjure up
Goldenrod and
Summer dresses and
The man with the yellow hat
Greens that stick around too long
Reminding us of their own beauty and
Kiwis and
Grapes and
Tree frogs and
Their forest
The summer forest
The one whose beauty lies in its tranquility
Its youth
Its promise
Its affordability
But not usually on the forest floor
At what price do we chase the color
What is the cost of wanting more

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Reality Check

He says I’m mean and rude
I tell him I love him
So I know that it’s true
That he’s almost three and
I’m really a father
With a son

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Little Body In Motion

Puddles attract two year old feet
I think it’s a heretofore unknown
Corollary of Newtonian physics
He’s a body in nature and
I’m the external force
The one that washes the socks and pants and
That’s just the way it is
He doesn’t like wet feet and
As much as I dislike laundry
I abhor being the heavy or
Fighting losing battles but
We’re both law abiders and
Once a body is in motion …

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Tooth

By Seren and Daddy

It fell out
At nap time
As I was reading
The Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight
It wasn’t first
The first one got lost
Suddenly it just wasn’t there
This one
The second one
I was watching
With my tongue
All the time
And then
As I read Berenstain Bears
It was on my tongue
I took it and
For my dad
I wanted to tell him
About my tooth
I wanted to tell him
It fell out

Monday, October 17, 2011


Sticking up just a little more than it should and
At more of an angle than one would expect
Often wearing just a bit of blood
A gap to its right
(My left)
Showing it the next step
It sits there
Maybe hoping not to follow its compatriot
Into the abyss that lurks behind it but
Rather to fall forward
Onto the floor
Into a pillow and
Into history but
Waiting to fall out or
Just waiting for the next smile

Thursday, October 13, 2011

An Observer

For the first time I’m watching her
Just watching her
Through a glass window
Unable to yell encouragements
Or anything else
Restrained to the occasional smile
A high five at water break
A hug at the beginning
A hug at the end and
At school she is out of sight
Out of mind
Once a week though
She is not out of sight or
Out of mind but
Further out of reach than ever before
I could tell myself that
It’s just an hour
That it’s just gymnastics but
I know better
She knows better
Which is why we have those two hugs and
Why we both hug
Squeeze even
Because I’m watching her
For the first time

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

His Expressions of Love

He’s two
Soon to be three and
He was awake
Really awoken
By me
To only me

So I wasn’t expecting much love
Now that his mother and sister had just arrived home

I knew they were home because he told me
Yelled at me really
While jumping up and down
I could hear the jumps in his voice

He had gone to the front door to watch for their arrival
Now they were home and
I didn’t expect to see him back in the office
In fact
Since it was on me to make sure he didn’t run out and get run over
I was finishing up what I had been doing before having to wake him up
When he walked in
I thought maybe he wanted us to greet them together

Then he grunted
I asked him if he was OK
He answered with one word

At dinner
After I had applied a little unwelcome discipline
He came over
Sat in my lap
Passed gas and
Left for his mother’s lap

I suppose that it’s when you least expect it and
In the form you least expect it
When true love arrives
Especially when it’s from someone who is
Soon to be three

Friday, October 07, 2011

Consignment Sale Time

It’s consignment sale time
Time to take what hasn’t been given away
And try to sell it
Before we continue giving it away to
It’s our capitalistic money grubbing moment
It’s time to wash
And most importantly
Somewhere in the middle of all of that
To sort it
To take the memories
And put them in chronological order
Before you sell them
Is it:
0-3 months
3 months
3-6 months
6 months
6-9 months
9 months
9-12 months
12 months
12-18 months
18 months
24 months
Where does it belong
How much is it worth
To you
To someone else who needs it
How much money
How much guilt of every variety
How much time
When most of it will end up going to friends
Friends of friends
The thrift shop
And could go there with less intentionality
Less sorting
Less grief
Bit what would we do with the tagging gun
When consignment sale time rolled around again

Thursday, October 06, 2011

A Reminder

She yelled at him for disagreeing with her about how he felt
He yelled at me for not letting him spread yogurt on the table
I yelled at them for …
Well they weren’t good reasons
But whatever the reasons
We were all yelling and
We kept yelling
With a few ceasefires sprinkled in
Until she was in her room reading to her dolly and
He and I were cleaning up a juice spill
He hugged me
I said
“It’s been a rough one huh?” and
He said
“Dada, I had fun today” and
I remembered our morning together and
Our trip to the orchard and
Why I gladly put up with all the noise and mess

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Wiggle Room

I haven’t wiggled it yet
Haven’t even really looked at it
I’ve hugged her after she bit into a tough nugget
I’ve seen the blood on the tablecloth
I’ve talked about it with her
I’ve listened to her talk about it
I’ve listened to her talk about talking about it
I’ve talked to her mother about it and
Started looking for the tooth pillow that I put my baby teeth in
The tooth fairy has even come up in conversation
And I did touch it
For a split second
I didn’t feel it wiggle though
So talking is still fine
Circumstantial evidence is troubling but still deniable
As long as she still wants to marry her brother
Says aminal rather than animal
And I haven’t wiggled it yet

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Standing On a Rock

Standing on a rock
In the middle of a trail
Mud and wetness all around
A two year old on my shoulders
Sandals with socks on my feet
The socks are dry
The two year old is really almost three
The trail is a swamp in every direction
I’m standing on a rock

Monday, October 03, 2011

A Peek

We had peeked through the fence at the community pool
Closed several seasons now
Grass growing up through the cracks in the pool deck
Paint cracking on the concession stands
We walked by twice
Talked about it each time
Yet it was only on the drive past it
On the way out
That I spied what used to be a little wading pool out of the corner of my eye
I drew his attention to it
By saying something like
Look at the kiddie pool
Then we moved on to other seemingly more pressing matters
Like a debate on why we hadn’t taken the bridge to New Jersey
We didn’t return to it until dinner
When he was sharing his day with mom
Along with his visions of cats and even dogs swimming at the pool
The kitty pool
When he gave me a peek
At cats in swimming suits
And into his head