Wednesday, April 3, 2013

these days

In the days of poop, the feces of old, young, cat, and dog,
I am flooded, mudded.

Overflow of sound-
the dog going psycho in the backyard,
cats scratching at the door,
a groan, snoring coming from Dad's room.

I hear my daughter
whining, crying, burping and laughing,
asking for candy, orange juice, carrots.

I hear the local news,
mouths blaring rape, sodomy, torture

Music from the kid's channel blares
from the flat screen.

These days, it's 2am quiet
all day loud.

These days, I lift my father from the floor.
These days, I throw away too many diapers,
clean up too much poop, blood and piss.

These days, I cook for four.
These days, an un-rushed shower is bliss.

These days, we are always behind on housework.

These days, I read mostly children's books, and find comfort
in my father still being able to read to my daughter.

These days, I don't even try to look ahead or above the flood.
I just float in it.

Friday, November 23, 2012

In this rain-soaked sweater,
the shoulders of my heart carry
too much.
The long day stretches like
a kindergarten line,
a row of to-do's:
grade, download, print, cook, type,
change diapers,

holding you as you giggle, smile, toot.

The white school walls tell a story
through the cracks and blank stares
The silence makes it that much harder
to leave you.

When I fill up the spaces with your face,
I can do this.
When rain makes my whole body heavy,
your voice can sing me light again,
whispering through me like a soft note.

...but leaving you still makes me sad,
and when you go, I'll be sadder--

lying in the grass,
remembering your castle we made
from cardboard boxes and a tent
and a ground cloth.

I won't want you to go there,
wherever it is you will go,
and I'll be looking through
the primary-colored panels
out into the back yard,

wishing your swing was still up,
your slide in use
your toys scattered--
red blue and yellow flags of joy
only because you played with them.

There is something so perfect in your expressions--
your eyebrows angled, posed
just right for each occasion.

Love will never be a big enough word,
but I can't stop telling you:
more than all the stars in the sky,
more than all the lightning bugs in all the swamps
of all the world,
more than all the fish in the seas,
wider than the ocean.

Every day I think how you don't have your daddy,
how you may never have him
...but some holes are bigger than others,
fingerholes patched
fist holes spackled
heart holes prayered, over and over.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

August 16th, 2012

In the corners
of our lives where all the lint,
loose threads, dog and cat hair
scrap metal, yarn, wood chips,
sawdust and dead skin gather-
we survive, even thrive.

We inhabit those angles
where it's easy to nestle,
hard to leave,
where rain might make a puddle

with mud or pretty oil
and where it is so
so messy...but we don't care.

We sit on top of it all,
or sleep in a tent (just to have room),
and we are hungry and thirsty
and dead with fear

but somehow still grow
in this stick forest of rotten trees
trash and refuse
ready to be restored


For 17 months, I forgot to write,
and experience
everything now the voice,
the face is a mother voice
a care.taker. face.

Glowing in the dark means
something new now,
and mother means me.

Daddy became a character
from a short story I wrote years ago:
He might as well smoke cigars
and play chess naked,
think the teenage girl next door is his wife.

...and I'm not so great at being their eyes, ears, and brain.

It's funny to think my brother didn't know
the difference between dementia and demented.
He learned the hard way.

...and I learned a new meaning for face
as mine has changed so drastically

cataclysmically changed
...and there are ugly, patchy
yellowed wings
but I can't straighten them up
or make them fly right.


in a sandy place
we lose our footing
but after a rain
we learn to make sand castles

the joke and the puddles

yesterday: writing a story
of what I thought was truth
or longing
or heartbreak
or love

they must have been playing a joke
when they showed me that
something they called love-
in between the sheets, candles,
a kiss in the rain
it must be the biggest joke I know to call that LOVE

and when I met her,
and every day I hold my daughter,
God's flawlessly knitted truth
like a prize,
a gift opened into LOVE

and that light beaming
all over me with a word "Mama"
or a look. in. my. eyes.
with a tiny hand in mine,
that brilliant flower,
with more color than
all the puddles with oil
in all the parking lots in the world

the faucets on all sides explode
into a watery dance
and I am blessed with too much water

cracked bark lets in light

the tree's branches are too heavy
so she grows a bigger trunk
stronger bark, more cracks
to let in the light

they carve their names into her trunk
but she has the will to live
to nurture her leaves
veins baring, weeping sap

they bore holes into her body
and her leaves are falling:
red, yellow, brown

there are lots of nests-
the Carolina Wrens, baby Robins
those eggs cracking too
with wet new life

she embraces those babies
in her branches
but when the wind blows,
the cradles rock,
she is scared too

some creaking, snapping
bending and breaking
but the babies survive
and she soaks in the life

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

no such thing as reason

when I want to reach
the unreachable

man in a yellow cab
leaving town all day long
leaving me and her and
all who care

when I think about "us"
or when we held hands
or when we named her
or when we looked
in the mirror

or saw her hair for the first time
emerging from me

because I don't want to remember
red scraping cutting words
and his impatience
with everything from the internet
to his shoes

and reason has no place in this poem

because I almost forgot myself
being a mother to his child
listening to him

because there is a stench in
his yard, behind his house,
under his bed,
and I didn't make it

but I did smell it
like it smelled good
and I took it home and wallowed
like a happy dog in it

and there is no such thing as reason
thinking of him

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Here We Are in a Recent Pic!

the "genius baby" list!

I wrote a list today of things that Izzy has learned over the past month (She'll be 11 months tomorrow). It was enormous!

-she blows kisses

-she dances (knees bending, arms flapping wildly, hands clapping), but has to hold on or be held to do so

-knows how to drink out of ANYTHING...water bottle, sippy cup, regular cup, plastic bottle, Camelbak! and straw

-can pet the cat and dog gently with open hand

-shares food with cat and dog and anyone who is around!

-can brush her hair (and mine!)

-can brush her teeth

-opens and closes cabinets, doors and drawers-she loooves the Tupperware cabinet!

-knows how to help put her arms in and out of sleeves, but hates putting on pants (hehe)

-can feed self with spoon...messily of course

-she is very close to walking!! (can stand on her own if she forgets no one is helping :)