Friday, December 28, 2012

post-advent not post-partum

Advent is over,
Mary had her baby,
but I'm still pregnant:
full, expectant,
We do still
wait together for the
Second Advent,
of which no one knows
the hour...
I suppose I'm
not so out-of-season
after all.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


You don't know how
to smile yet,
but make us smile
every day.

Your lungs have never
filled with air,
and still you take my
breath away.

Your well-knit form,
a hidden gift,
reveals our Maker's
loving way.

As yet unborn,

but you are
no less powerful for it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

epiphany child

The sixth of January,
great feast of light,
a day for what has
until now been largely
hidden to be
unveiled --

and my due date.

It fits, as my
three little kings
watch eagerly,
waiting for treasures
long in darkness
to be brought forth
in light.

May it be so
with you, my daughter,
my little star.
May you come to be
a lamp uncovered,
a story shared
with those who have
not yet heard,
a glowing manifestation
of Christ's bright glory,
an epiphany.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

be not afraid

You let yourself be born,
so you are not afraid of a mess.
Born to a woman,
so you are not afraid of irrationality.
Born into a family,
so you are not afraid of drama.
Born within community,
so you are not afraid of loneliness.
Born in a body,
so you are not afraid of pain.
Born in uncertain times,
so you are not afraid of the future.
Born with an impossible mission,
so you are not afraid of failure.
And I am all of these:
a mess of irrational drama,
alone in an overcrowded body,
failing and afraid--
so you are not afraid of me.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

35 weeks

I don't wish it
away this time,
like everyone assumes
we next-month
mothers must:
"Are you just dying?"
they ask with
pinched face and
sympathetic wince.
I am tired, yes.
I am tired, and grouchy,
and uncomfortable.
But I am alive
with life,
full and filled up
in a way I may
never know again.
So I will open myself
to all of it:
as many
days and pillow-tower
nights as I am given
to nurture
to hold
to house and grow
this abundant life,
this bursting blessing.

Monday, November 19, 2012

i'll let it go this time

They're not supposed to run upstairs
Fierce in fast joy
Pierce shrieking boy
Free-happy as no grown-up dares

Friday, November 9, 2012

hibernation preparation

The squirrels and I
are stocking up,
a bit rounder each day,
tucking away
by instinct
for the coming change.
We store and gather,
prodded by
a bone-deep knowing:
Winter will come.
Then we who have
scurried will be still,
sink down,
settle fast and firm
into the dark
that brings life.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

sickbed mass

Prayer, and the laying
on of hands,
anointing the head,
singing the psalms.
Offering the cup by
the great thanksgiving.
All these I do
and more tonight,
priest of the bunk bed
parish, keeping the
night watch,
tending the sick.
The Holy Fathers
must have been
watching the mothers
when they wrote
the Missal.

Friday, November 2, 2012

gimme gimme

I want to take Hebrew.
I want to eat a caprese salad.
I want my kids to stop wrestling.
I want my kids to never stop wrestling.
I want to be a better friend.
I want all my sisters to live here.
I want to teach.
I want to find the perfect area rug.
I want to go on a date.
I want a hot tub.
I want to be able to go in a hot tub.
I want to sleep through the night.
I want to be gentle with my boys.
I want Jon to know I adore him.
I want to see my little girl's face.
I want to write poetry again.

Friday, October 26, 2012

flunking failure

I remember learning
how to meet a deadline,
make a good
first impression,
play well with others.
I must have missed
the lesson
on how to manage
the other half
of being human:
screwing it all up
and still walking out
falling on my face,
Who teaches a kid
to fail well?
If I try and fail,
maybe that will be
success after all.

Monday, October 15, 2012

from a photo

Who are you
who held my son
and holds him still
in bloodline, hairline,
though not timeline,
who are you?
You are not past
tense, past life,
past knowing nor
being known,
you are now.
But you are there.
Being here, there are
a million miles
of concrete and ocean,
culture and option
between us.
Between us, a little boy.
and there - in you still.
You are who
I am too.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

first release

Today it is true
for the first time:
You can live without me.
Doctors, machines,
lights and wires,
yes --
me, no.
And so begins
the series of small
the slow, beautiful
daily deaths of
being a mother.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

my hero

At the dinner table
he is telling the older
boys a parable
about parables
and he has their eyes
wide as saucers.
I can only make out
every other word because
His Pint-Sized Majesty
the Third has used
all his chances to eat
nicely and moved on to
screaming in my ear.
I try not to sigh and
scoop the screecher off
to bed, but steal a
look back as I go:
two little men
and my hero, spinning
the kingdom of God
into a tale of mustard
seeds and dinosaurs
and pirates.

Friday, September 21, 2012

small stones

I know well enough
to leave the boulders alone:
life, health, breath,
But surely the pebbles
(just a few)
I can keep in my grubby fist?
Breakfast dishes,
and the ingredients
for a simple pasta dinner.
These tiny tasks
need not be grace,
I'm prone to think --
until I fall
like Goliath.

Monday, September 17, 2012

liturgy in utero

Cheek to belly pressed,
he speaks his sister
the little priest.
A litany of baby love
he sings into the dark,
a brother monk.
"Big, strong baby girl!"
his final benediction:
Alleluia and amen,
my prophet son.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

bonding dance

It was never a fight,
you against me,
but I fought like mad
for you,
or so I thought.
And learned by bruises
not to battle love
into existence,
ex nihilo:
we both lost.
Now then, a new way:
like boxers in a
ballet class,
we bob and weave
just out of habit
while the teacher
sings out "Grace!"

Monday, August 13, 2012

in defense of losing it

If I hadn't broken down,
hadn't broken open,
if I hadn't cried,
let the failure and
frustration spill over
where he could see it
(which has always
felt to me
like more failure),
he might not have
risked crawling
out of bed,
wrapping his arms
around my waist,
resting his head on
my belly and saying
he loved me --
might have missed
that thin place
where we do the
real work of being
human together
in God's hands.


I felt you move this morning.
Me still in bed,
still and quiet
while you rolled and spun,
stretching and testing
your warm dark home.
Your brothers do this too:
spin, roll, and test
while I am trying to rest --
you fit in already.
Do you know how
happy you have made me?
Even if this is all
we share
(I have learned
to take nothing for granted)
it is enough.

[mid-July 2012]

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


By law, only one of us
is granted 'personhood'
(as though it were
the law's to give)
but who could separate us
without breaking both?
is a dirty word in some circles,
and yet it is the mystery that sustains
both host and guest:
We are two and one.

[early July 2012]

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

first(born) love

The typical culprits
tend to pass me by:
I laughed on the first day
of kindergarten,
smiled at all the birthdays,
and shook my head
over each box of too-small
clothes I stacked in
the garage.
But last night on the boat
in the bright hour between
sunset and dusk
with a full moon over
calm water,
the weight of your
head on my shoulder
pricked my eyes
and dropped down heavy
into my mother-heart.
Around your life-jacket
my arms felt small, short
like my days as the
queen of your little boy-heart.
The milestones will surely keep
coming; but, oh my sweet son,
the little moments
I will keep for us.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

fruits and other four-year-old questions (11 weeks)

What is it now, Mommy?
Is it still a jelly bean?
Is it a grape now Mommy?
Mommy, will you tell me when it gets to be a dinosaur?
I can't wait until it's a dinosaur.
Mommy, what's a kumquat?
Can I kiss your belly, Mommy?
Mommy, I love you.

[mid-June 2012]

Thursday, July 19, 2012

week eight

Bursting to tell
busting a button
busy and buttoned-up.
Keep mum,
mum's keeping,
hoping it's for keeps.

[early June 2012]

Thursday, July 12, 2012

i think of you

I think of you
often, sister friend --
longing, waiting,
or no longer able
to wait long.
I am full
where your
emptiness aches
and we count weeks
in unison
(but not really).
You cried happy tears
for me
drawn from a
deep well of grief,
and I winced at your hug.
I am sorry.
There is not much
more to say,
except that I
see you,
I remember you.
You are beautiful.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

week seven haiku

I am two kinds of sick,
but still five kinds of happy:
I like those numbers.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

six weeks

We don't talk about it,
except to ourselves --
even then only in the
hypothetical --
which makes it feel all
the less real.
Stranger still, I feel
perfect. Not even a twinge.
I would swear we made
the whole thing
up if I didn't have
a featherweight
flutter of hope
in my gut.

[mid-May 2012]

Saturday, June 30, 2012

week five

God of the big wild world
Be small.
Dive down into the ball of cells,
the miracle,
the deep magic,
and make your mark.
Look with love
and mercy on this tiny
coil of tight-sprung
life. Glory--
all glory to You.

[early May 2012]

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

happy secret

We hold a happy secret,
you and I.
As yet invisible,
except as two thin
purple lines.
Soon this secret will
most likely make me sick-
but not like other
secrets might-
a healthy sick (there is
such a thing).
We hold it now,
like a butterfly lit
on our open hands:

[early May 2012]

Thursday, June 14, 2012

all work and no poems

All work and no poems
makes Haley a
tightly-wound girl.
Deciding, packing, moving,
adjusting, and growing,
but no writing.
Patience, friends --
the words are building
behind the wall of work,
gestating, forming,
living --
and getting ready to live.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

moving on

For five years
to the very day
these walls and floors
the halls and doors
have held our
our laughter
tears and sighs
and let us be
We picked what
we didn't plant and felt
the prayers of the faithful
(sweet Mary Louise)
under our feet.
We dreamed.
Now we'll pack
and sweat and strip it
back to the bones,
shift and scuttle,
hermit crabs to our
next shell:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Embrace your son when he screams in your face because you gave him the wrong toothpaste.

Embrace the piles of laundry, cleaned, dried, folded, and carried to the proper drawers and closets.

Embrace the sting of wise discipline given to a bumbling but beloved boy.

Embrace a sweaty little imp glowing with pride over his first goal of the soccer season.

Embrace your husband, home after hard work but still ready to jump in and help.

Embrace the unwelcome events of tomorrow and look for the hidden blessings.

Embrace your own weary body, knowing the strength it is slowly building.

Embrace your weaknesses, because grace rises to meet them.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

for jana, on rhododendrons and grief

That they will curl,
brown at the edges,
loosen from their moorings,
and then drop
(crushed) --
they are no less
perfect, precious
for this.
It is a story the
live a thousand times
like tiny test cases,
showing us death --
yes. But
again and again.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

the discipline of mediocrity

There are a thousand things that make me want to stop writing, a litany of lacks I recite to myself by the light of a touch screen. In the end my fingers move as a discipline -- "So friends, every day do something that will not compute." For someone like me, Berry's words are a charge to push publish on something cliche, unpolished, or - worst of all - cheesy, and to let something I do live outside the realm of judgment and critique, even and especially something I want so badly to be great at. (I really tried to just let this end right there with a preposition. I guess I still have a long way to go.)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

viaje aniversario

Descansamos, casados y
cansados, celebrando
diez años como
una persona.
Comimos y bebimos y
hicimos lo que queremos:
estabamos solo.
Regresamos al principio.
Jugamos. Nos disfrutamos.
Damos gracias a Dios.
No lo escapamos el milagro
que estamos viviendo.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Tulips open as daffodils fade
Pinks for yellows, a better trade
Plum trees show their flowers first
Marking where later fruit will burst
Lilacs are wound up tight in wait
Leaves sent ahead to test their fate
Camellias drop their early blooms
The beauty of March, April consumes
Shy and bold, new and old
Spring for every living thing.

Friday, April 20, 2012

righteous dissatisfaction

In a four-year-old the cycle is fast: anger, sin, shame, repentance, forgiveness, and restoration all in the space of five minutes. Why do grown-ups take so long? We are satisfied to park ourselves at one of the first three stops for decades. Satisfied. Four-year-olds are never ever satisfied.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


None of us knows,
nor chose,
the width,
strength of thread
that binds our shadow-self,
the string
that ties us inside in.
Some strands stretch
taut over time, strain,
fray to a fiber,
Others are
clean sheared
in a fell swoop,
smooth one second
and split the next.
We may spill safely
in small,
manageable portions,
easily reassembled
and wrapped in place,
or we may
watch our every secret slip
slick through our
fingers holding hard
the severed cord.
And you -
do you loosen
or bind?
Am I working against
you when I rush
to pick up my scattered
pieces and tie them
back together?
Scatter me then,
or hold me fast,
free me to
either way.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

listening on sunday

Sunday afternoon
two boys asleep
two eating cupcakes
in the sun while the dog
chases chocolate crumbs.
A morning full of words
still tumble,
echo through me,
and a passel of
feelings answer back.
Contradictions, or
maybe they'll be mysteries
if I am patient.
Cynics and prophets,
shepherds and sheep,
zealots and fools
all have my ear:
I listen,
but it's my voice I
hear on their tongues.
Can any of us
hear another way?
But now the little one
is awake, his cries
shake my thoughts
back to earth
where frosting cheeks
need wiping and
we are all learning to
hear together.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

to care and not to care

Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks
Our peace in His will.

-T.S. Eliot

It is easy to care
when I have something to give.
It is easy to not
when I don't know where they live.
I can sit very still
when my hands are held tight
I can lay down in peace
when I know I've done right.

But it's not and I don't and I can't:
Teach me.

Teach me to have nothing
to offer but you
Teach me to let people
do what they do
Teach me to sit, to just sit
and not move
Teach me until I have
nothing to prove -

even among these rocks.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

past or future

Yesterday I sat in the bleachers and breathed the steamy chlorine air while dozens of kids, including one of mine, swam back and forth along the straight black lines. Memories flooded back: I spent more hours of my young life under this water than I did on dry land. I saw these black lines in my sleep. The memories surfaced and sank back down into nostalgia - the land of past lives, former selves, and finished chapters. Translated into cheesy sports terms, I left it all in the pool.

Today I drove through a college campus and felt a similar tide of memories rise. I was wearing a Jansport backpack and riding a crappy bike in flip-flops when I started to become who I am today. I met my best friends on these busy streets. But these memories pulled me further, forward instead of back. It wasn't nostalgia this time, but the ache of more to come. Unspoken words and unmarveled mysteries are waiting. I want to go back.

Friday, April 6, 2012

good friday

I woke up slowly to
sunbeams streaming,
sleepy-eyed sons
and a psalm of praise.

You never slept
body aching from a night
of tears and prayers,
a morning in court but
no justice.

At noon we played
with friends
under early spring sun
an easy laughter
in our lungs.

Your midday sky went dark
as the curtain tore,
a last breath shuddered
through sagging ribs
and a broken heart.

In the late afternoon
we climbed over driftwood
and squinted into the
sea breeze with
wind in our hair.

As evening approached
they pried your body
from the boards,
life-author limp and
bound in linen cloths.

Tonight I will sleep
in your hard-won peace:
freed through bondage,
washed in blood,
alive by death.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

holy wednesday

It sounds like an oxymoron to me
Or maybe something you say after
A rough day midweek.
But the magnolias are hinting,
The rhodies are blushing,
and even though I am wrung like
Clean linen
I suppose it does feel like a
Holy Wednesday.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

palm sunday

Some Sundays we act out the stories
with our mouths and bodies
because they are ours, but only
in the general sense.
Our acting is an act of faith,
a hopeful play.

Not today.

'Hosanna' rings out clearer,
truer from my mouth than
'Alleluia' ever has.
It feels right, authentic,
probably because the hypocrisy
is built right in.
It's my story:
I lead the crowd
with broken branches
shouting the shallow praise.
His sees me from his
colt-throne, makes my throat close,
but only until Friday.

orange blossom

I woke to walk
the winding path
between the orange trees
before the mist cleared
waiting and looking for my love.

The lavender left its scent
rich and heady on my hands
but only after I crushed it
between my fingers.

The rosemary withheld its
woodsy musk until I broke the
needles from the branch.

But the orange blossom chased me
around the garden circle
courting, wooing, winning
me with gentleness
intoxicating beauty:

Between the fragrance and the fruit
In the center I stood
Breathed in being the

Thursday, March 29, 2012

the broken next door

The veil is fragile
the stories are true
the world is broken and
breaking all over again
under our noses.
I can't hold this truth
she told me
it has buried her alive
and I dove in after.
How do we dig out together
when we are down so deep?
The old heavy rocks
press into my back
and my eyes sting but
I meet her gaze.
But for the grace of God...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

to give up early

I wish I knew a perfect way
to give up early every day,
rip off the bandage quick and sure
wash the wound with water pure,

and remember who I am.

How many wasted hours I spend
as though my soul and worth depend
on anything I've ever done
or felt or had or lost or won,

forgetting whose I am,

Who is I AM.

Friday, March 23, 2012

stories headlines prayers

A girl who is a mother,
a mother's mother,
and a little girl
who saw too much:
things her parents never
thought could happen,
"Mommy's shirt was blood."
she told me, matter of fact
like a four-year-old newscaster.
A runaway, an illegal alien,
an alcoholic on her third round
of inpatient treatment,
and me:
people who love you, Ruby.
People first.

A man who tried
to save the world but
saw it crumble around him
from the inside,
broken both by those who
loved and hated,
bedridden by compassion.
Child soldiers, angry bloggers,
well-meaning experts
and me:
people who hear you, Jason.
People first.

A mother rich in love,
two grandsons and two
pregnant daughters,
others waiting in the wings.
"Stage four" casts a shadow
over all the stages yet to come,
though hope upstages them all.
Pastors, friends, strangers
and me:
people who are praying for you, Mary.
People first.

Monday, March 19, 2012

a mother summer

Today, my children like me. My children like me today. If they are their mother's sons, there is a long winter coming: months and years of freezing me out, calling me condescending but mostly innocuous names, and avoiding my eyes, to say nothing of my hugs and kisses. But now is the summer of their affection for me and I won't let these sunny days be wasted. When the heat of their utter dependence and need makes my skin slick with sweat, I will remember to breathe in the warm air and hold it somewhere safe for a colder day.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I want to listen, I do, honest, but these people keep jibber-jabbing their gibberish and it makes me want to run around with my hands over my ears but instead I raise my voice to drown out the nonsense, so sure that my words are sensible or at least they have a beginning, middle, and end that flow into one another, unlike this guy prattling on about God-knows-what and I mean that literally because I honestly don't think God himself could sort that into a coherent set of statements, but then again what do I know and who am I to judge, I'm just a girl trying to listen by talking too loud.

Monday, March 12, 2012


One thing I can say
for mothering
is that it forcefully
presses one into the present.
There is no way to
store up treasure
on earth in the form
of cheeks wiped clean
apples sliced
stacks of grass-stained
jeans dryer-warmed.
They are only for today.
Tomorrow there are
crumbs and pajamas
on the floor
hungry bellies
untold stories.
They can't be stolen
from tomorrow
by any work or
greed or treasure
hunts today,
there is only today.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

everything yes

Is the sun shining?
Will anyone come see our home today?
Can I talk to you for a minute?
Will this turn into a deep, hour and a half long conversation?
Can I still catch the end of Bible study and pray for my friends?
Do you have an hour or two to watch the boys this afternoon?
Can we meet today to talk about the event this weekend?
Isn't this art exhibit amazing?
Should I go to seminary?
Do I have time to squeeze in a run?
Will he take a nap today?
Can we play at Nana and Papa's?
Aren't the mountains pretty?
Can we have a friend over after school?
Do you know what's for dinner?
Can our friend stay for dinner?
Are we staying home and relaxing tonight?
Will Daddy read Narnia to us?
Are the kids asleep yet?
Should we open a bottle of wine?
Is there a new episode of Parks & Rec?
Do you miss having a baby in the house?
Is that a full moon?
Isn't this a beautiful life?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

my little gidding

This morning I read a part
of Eliot's Little Gidding;
this evening I played it out
with a feisty two-year-old.
Fear and fire
and a fight about toothpaste;
then the weightless terror
of falling
from the height of
who I thought I was,
watching some lady with
my face tear sopping
wet pajamas off a
small screaming child.
But now this grace:
what is terror but fear
and fear the beginning
of wisdom.
At the foot of the cross
in a rocking chair,
he slips his hand in mine.
The weight of his
body curled in my lap
holds me here,
a welcome heaviness.
I need this heavy love
that gives a fight
to bring an end
which is always a beginning.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

all small

When I was little
everyone told me
I could do something big.
This would-be blessing
sunk roots too deep,
lingered too long,
loomed large,
and festered into curse.
I am big now,
to my smaller self,
swimming upstream,
giving my all
to do something small.

Monday, February 27, 2012

the whole truth

I read a story written
by a woman who decided to
tell the whole truth.
I thought I was an
over-sharer, but this
put me to shame.
It made me admire her --
in my eyes she was brave, and
beautiful, and important.

But then, I am a stranger.

I wonder what it feels like to
read the whole truth about
someone that you see at Sunday
dinner or sit next to at
an AYSO game.
I wonder what it feels like
to tell the whole truth, not to strangers
but to your people.
I wonder if she dressed it up
the way we all do.
It came off as unadorned,
but maybe she's just that good.

a year ago this evening, revisited

Nostalgia gives us permission
to forget some things,
or maybe just remember them
without the sharp edges
of recency.

Like this.

The real story is that
he screamed for hours on end.
He threw a whole bowl
of vegetable soup
on the floor
and when it splashed
on my pants I wanted to scream,
but but bit my tongue
(until days later
when we were in our own
home and out
of earshot).
He didn't so much fall asleep
as collapse
out of sheer exhaustion
and the undercurrent of fear
that lingered for weeks.

I can choose to say it was
beautiful now
(and it was)
but then it was so damn hard.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

laughing on ash wednesday

My printer was on the fritz,
as if that's a reason
to lash out at a
child --
even a child who is careening
wildly and making
a horrible racket while
you are trying to prepare for
a worship service.

Later I am sitting, penitent
in the pew,
confessing and obsessing.
Someone is reading scripture
but I am writing this poem in my head and it's about hurting
people we love-

He is writing too,
balancing the hymnal on
his lap and scrawling in the
margins of the bulletin;
it is a poem
for me. I am afraid it
will make me cry
because my guilt is still
fresh. But two hours
is a lifetime for a six-year-old

I love you I love you I love you divine,
Please give me some bubble gum,
You're sitting on mine.

Monday, February 20, 2012

righters block

I have genius-induced
writer's block:
Rilke's genius, of course,
not my own.
Is that not the ultimate sign
that I write for the wrong
Beauty inspires beauty,
but only in the confident.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

law // gospel

I'm taking a class
to learn how to remodel
a house that was long ago
burned to the ground.

I'm scouring a dish
that will never be clean
till it's shattered in pieces
beyond all repair.

I'm dressing my best
for a made-up audition
to cast for a part
I was given at birth.


Stand on the ashes
Don't pick up the pieces

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

do as I say

Mothering must be
intrinsically hypocritical,
I decided;
then made my apologies,
and asked his forgiveness,
feeling the weight
of the next sixteen years
in the space between
He cocked his head,
like he does,
tickled my arm,
and pretended not to hear
the question,
but today I will take
what I can get.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

holy seeing

Is obedience
and therefore the kingdom
(if our hope is still
--with him--
to bring it on)
as small and simple as
me seeing you?
My prayer is then
that you, seen,
see him.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I wrote a poem in my head
as I lay quietly in my bed
before the footsteps in the hall
before the baby's morning call
but then the day came stealing in
breakfast shoes and medicine
every stanza I had crafted
melted from my mind, undrafted
I wonder if they still exist
underneath the laundry lists
piles of words I never penned
waiting to be discovered again.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

grief relapse

I cried for Grampy again today, and then for Grammy too.

I read about someone's grandpa falling and breaking his hip; the writer was wondering how to bathe her little boys with their freshly-made bodies, while her grandfather lay in the hospital, broken and in pain. How to live without forgetting one in the presence of the other. I don't know.

Here I am in a noisy house tripping over these small, perfect people. Kissing my husband in the kitchen while I stir the food on the stove like its nothing. Forgetting.

But can we even remember without collapsing under the weight of it? I maxed out at five minutes, took a shuddery breath, ate a piece of chocolate and went on with my life. Why can I do that?

Because today I'm not listening to the clock tick off the seconds, wondering if they bring me closer to or further away from the part of me that is buried on a hilltop across town.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


For seven days I told my tales
and nobody was the wiser,
The question remains
if that was the main course
or merely the appetizer.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

good day, good night

I want to write a little poem
but my mind is
soft with
screaming boys
and clinking ice
(the latter helping me forget
the former),
so I can only
say it was a good day, but
good night
and hope for better words

Friday, February 3, 2012


A year ago the nannies
gave him two minute sponge baths
his only other water came in a cup
and held
unwelcome guests.

Today he puffs out his cheeks,
squeezes eyes shut
and sinks below the surface,
and unafraid;

Thursday, February 2, 2012


"...make allowance for each other's faults..." Colossians 3:13 NLT

There is a space between us,
that is not a separation
but a grace:
a space to fail and fall
and find ourselves,
our faults

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Is there anything that holds the memory
of a place
more completely than a smell?

He was so small the last time
corn sizzled and popped
over charcoal
while the coffee steeped --

and that nearly half a lifetime
ago in baby years.

Still today he stopped, remembered:
lifted his nose a bit with a deep breath,
and smelling the popping corn
asked for the coffee.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


My house is pristine
and my car is a sty.

Keeping one thing alive
will make something else die.

I better just laugh
or I think I might cry.

Monday, January 30, 2012

who is two

One of us blew out
two candles on the last cake;

The other one is pitching a fit,
pounding her fists on the bed and
losing a battle of wills.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


It seems I do all my blogging on my other site these days, but I don't want to get rid of this space quite yet. I think I will keep it and re-purpose it as a poetry journal. Here's a little something I wrote this morning to get started.

Sunday Morning

I can hardly tell if
it's the most important thing
I've ever done,
or the most frivolous.
(It could be both
but that feels too cliche.)
Is it presumptuous
to think
I might approach the One
who made the seed break open
in the soil,
sprout and stretch its
branches to the sky before
it was felled and split
into the polished planks
I'm standing on?
Maybe faith is the guts
to stand anyway
and ask to be the seed.