Monday, January 30, 2012

Inventing Friends

My son is inventing friends
Who break things
That aren’t broken
Last week
There was the older boy who broke his toy train and
There was a little girl
Who broke the baseboard heater in his room
After she broke it
He took her home in the car
Maybe he feels bad
About the pile of broken things on my workbench and
Is confident that
Even daddy
Can fix broken things that aren’t really broken
Maybe he likes a happy ending
Maybe he just needs to get out more

Friday, January 27, 2012


Chopping avocado
As she talks
As we talk
I cut and
She still hasn't noticed
I might just get the whole avocado in the salad before she does
Before she sees
The avocado that she asked to have some of
Not ten minutes earlier
I might but
She's telling her story and
I'm chopping avocado and

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Bigger Boat

He refuses to pee in anything but his diaper and
A very small plastic sailboat
If the promise of
Telescopes and
Hermit crabs
Continue to fall short
We may need to consider
Sanctions or
Force or
We might just need a bigger boat

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

In Her Room

My daughter has a moon in her room

Battery powered

Capable of showing all the phases

Mounted to her wall and


After a year

We have paired it with a calendar of the moon’s phases

So that each night we can set the moon

To look just like it does outside

I have been threatening to do this for some time and

Every time I mentioned it

My daughter would say


Why don’t we just look outside


Lying in her bed

The moon in her room just starting to show again

The stars glowing on her ceiling and

All the recognized planets glowing and

Hanging over her bed

She asked me if we could go outside

To double check

She’s also wants me to show her

Why Pluto is no longer a planet


It’s time to start camping

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Unintentional Proof

It is eleven thirty at night when I see

Two cups in the freezer

One full of only water

Frozen solid

One full of salt water

Equally frozen and

I wonder if this is the hypothesis I was hoping to prove

When I placed the cups there

To much fanfare among the five and under set

Seven hours ago

Monday, January 23, 2012

Scientific Exploration

Snowflakes have six sides
If you want to see for yourself
Get a reliable forecast of snow and
Put a piece of black construction paper in the freezer and
Wait until something actually starts to fall
Until it just starts to fall
Then run out there with your piece of paper and
A kid
Without a kid you're just a weirdo standing outside with a piece of paper
With a kid
Find a flat surface and set down your piece of paper and
You will be able to confirm that
Snowflakes have six sides and
That they have rather short lives and
That for some reason
Each of us must learn that for ourselves

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Brain Squeeze

They say a brain is like a sponge and
I guess it is more a sponge than a castle
Most do seem to have a maximum holding capacity and
Not much more than the illusion of impenetrability but
Have you ever tried to squeeze yours out to make room
Has your brain ever dried out
Grown mold
I can't speak for anyone else but
I think I'd rather think of my brain as a beach
Sometimes built up
Sometimes washed away
Often littered with who knows what
From who knows where
At the mercy of
The phases of the moon and
The whims of weather and fisherman
They can say all they want about sponges
But I'll take wind and rain over a giant disembodied hand
I'll take it and
I'll think it
Until someone squeezes it out

The Winter Refrain


Friday, January 20, 2012

Not Yet

It’s January 20th

Almost January 21st and

The rumor of snow is swirling in the air

Not the real stuff though

Not yet

Not yet has been the refrain all winter

Not yet is what I told my daffodils

When I first saw them

More than two weeks ago

Not yet

Never yet and


I might be through with not yet

That and dance clubs and

Board books

I’m starting to hear whispers of not at all

I was starting to be OK with daffodils in January

In a mild



With nothing but sun and rain in the ten day forecast

But suddenly

The rumor of 1-3 inches

Is in the air but

Followed by a wintry mix and

Temperatures in the fifties and

January 21st is still almost hear and

I’m still waiting for it

Not yet ready for it or

The 22nd or

23rd or

24th either

Maybe next month

On the 2oth or

21st or


I will be

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Off the end of the balance beam
A plastic plane up my back

That is just right now

Another moment
It may be a little helicopter with life like moving blades or
A stuffed turtle off the stairs or
One of the two of them
Off the couch or
The bed or
A table

Everything is flying

It's not

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Me and Thomas

The Railroad tracks form an oval shaped ring around the coffee table

Thomas is still


Just staring out from behind a table leg

Straight ahead


Unconcerned by his lack of motion

The curve he is about to be thrown

When the power goes back on or

The lack of real options ahead and

Sitting there

Feet on the coffee table

Writing this down

I am envious

Shopping in the rain in January

He’s crouching inside the cart

She’s up against it in my shadow

We’re a mass of umbrellas and winter coats

Monday, January 16, 2012

Contentment is

Contentment is
Heading into the kitchen
To get
More cereal for number two
More milk for number two and
Still more milk for number two
Cereal for number one
More milk for number one
Water for number two
Orange juice for number two
Napkins for number one and
Not feeling silly or used
Contentment is not an every moment or
Everyday thing
But often it has curly hair and
Sometimes it has an impish smile and
Says poopie
And says it a lot and
Sometimes it even lasts through lunch

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Parental Guilt -or- Why I take Quick Showers

For half an hour or so every morning

My kids sit

Or stand


And nearly motionless

On the couch



Monkeys and

Talking cats wearing hats



Perform and

Even hypothesize

Leaving little room for anyone else to do much more than sit

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Someone is Watching

I took a day off of laundry

Leaving the drying rack up

So that tomorrow I could pick up where I left off but

She beat me to it

Festooning the rack with

Pirated newborn onesies


Wash cloths and

Doll clothes

Some on doll hangers

Pans filled with wooden vegetables on the floor of the kitchen

Fairy boxes filled with expired coupons

Dollies strapped into car seats laboriously placed all over the car

Stuffed sheep in timeout and

Now miniature clothes

Neatly spaced and

Carefully hung


Someone is watching

Monday, January 09, 2012

Trouble in the Chinese New Year

It’s almost time for the Chinese New Year and

We’re in trouble

Pan fried fish means that luck is coming

I have gastrointestinal reflux disease and am avoiding fried foods

So it doesn’t help that fried rice symbolizes harmony and plenty

Chinese cabbage represents wealth

I’m avoiding cabbage too

Pork brings wealth

We don’t eat the other white meat

Duck represents happiness

If I could take the complaining I could be happy

My son would be in trouble

Of course he would miss out on

Good luck and good fortune (steamed buns)

Wealth and abundance (shrimp)

Surplus (sweet and sour fish)

Profit and good omens (Clams)

The fulfillment of wishes (mandarin cakes)

I don’t know what a Mandarin cake is but I’m sure he wouldn’t eat it

A sweet new year (puffed rice cakes) and

A happy new year (seaweed)

The only thing we can hope to enjoy as a family in the new year

Is an offering for the Kitchen God

Since that comes is associated with candy

So happy new year and

Here you go Kitchen God

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Christmas Lights

We have left our Christmas lights up longer this year

We’re more than a week into January and

Still every night

I send the kids to the front door

While I head out back to plug in the lights and

Then race back inside to get the thumbs up

Last January

When I took the lights down

All on my own

I was rewarded with tears

This January

There is no snow

No snowmen

No snow angels

No sledding in the snow

There hasn’t been a hint of snow since Halloween but

The lights still go on every night to cheers

The presents are opened

Jesus is born

The shepherds and the wise men are gone

Jesus is gone

The lights are still one

I might leave them on until February

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Greener Grass

I’m in front of my computer

With my eyes closed

Picturing myself somewhere else


Sitting criss cross applesauce

In the middle of an empty stretch of blacktop

Stretching straight out in either direction to the horizon

Floating an inch or two off the blacktop

Floating because I need to be centered but

The yellow line looks so bright

That I wouldn’t want to sit on it

For fear that it was newly painted

Floating so as to avoid having tumbleweeds stuck in my ass

Floating because otherwise

The chair I’m sitting in is more comfortable and

I don’t have a smart phone yet

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Here and Now

I choose a piece of fruit

I eat it

I go back to what I was doing

The whole process takes about ten seconds

I barely remember eating the banana



Bunch of grapes or

Dried persimmon

So sometimes

After a productive pause two

I’ll take another fruit break

Occasionally I eat until I don’t feel good


I started in on a banana

Right after dinner

A big dinner

Then I stopped

Took a few more bites

As I checked e-mail and

Set what was left aside

That was an hour or so ago

It was right where I left it until a few minutes ago


After reading

Singing and

Blowing kisses to my son

As I do every other day when I put him down

I finished it off in a few bites

I may have even tasted it this time

Then I sat down and write this

Which is where I am right now

Where I’ll choose to be for at least a few more minutes

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

It continues

Coats hats gloves and scarves

Hiding us from the cold air

Trees out on the curb

Monday, January 02, 2012

Hopping Glad

He jumps

And talks

At the same time

Not every time

But at least once a day

For a short time

And often

But not every time

I jump

And talk

With him

He tells a story

Face full of a smile

And feet off the ground

I listen


With my feet off the ground

How could I not

How could I sit and listen dispassionately with my feet flat on the ground

Every time

Any time

He jumps

So do I

Because it will only be this way

For a short time

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Babies have it almost right

Babies have it almost right

It is all about the box

But it’s not about the opened box

Just as the best moment of a football game doesn’t come after the final whistle

But just before the coin goes into the air

After someone has called heads

Or tails

And has taken a break from breathing

Just as one does

Whilst staring at a box sitting just a few inches away



Wrapped and

Ribboned and bowed

But you have to open a lot of gifts

To reach the place where you are ready

To give full credit to the unopened box

Which is why

Babies have it almost right