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A VISIT FROM MY DAUGHTER

July 15, 2012

This post will be for my daughter–a few of the many poems I’ve written for or about her.
She’s coming to visit me this week, along with her youngest child who will be one in August, and is cruising the furniture at their home.  Maybe he will take his first steps here.

Talk about procrastination! This was to be posted before she arrived, and she’s been here several days

I thought about starting when she was small, but there were too many poems I wanted to post no matter how ruthless I tried to be.  So I decided to start with her graduation.

GRADUATIONS                     
Tomorrow she graduates from high school.

In two months she’ll be eighteen.

She says it’s scary;

she doesn’t know
what will become of her.

I remember waiting for her to be born.

She kicked so hard I was certain

she was a boy, thought

no girl child would

mistreat her mother so.

She wasn’t anxious to push her way

out of the womb into that transition, either;

kept me waiting

almost two weeks

before she arrived.

That summer, I was full of my own nightmares

waking into prayers where the ending was woven as

a happy beginning

ten fingers, ten toes

a beautiful and luminous

welcome into her first morning.

Grown up, yet not and that led to the next two poems

TWO MOTHERS

I am both; two minds,

two sets of feelings

split down the middle.

Her plans are set:

she’s moving out;

on her own;

all grown up.

I bite my tongue

my lips, my cheek:

so many words

better left unsaid.

One mother is glad
:
she’s almost there;

ready for a test run

I’m really proud.

She’s leaving soon

as soon as she can:

next year, next month,

next week, tomorrow.

The other mother is hurt:

what’s her rush?

She has it good here,

doesn’t she?

And she’s not ready:

a list for worry

long as my arm

keeps me awake nights.

This mother argues

with the first mother

who says each time:

let her go with joy!

But how can I let her leave

when I am so unsure?

But how can I make her stay

and believe in herself?

GROWING AWAY
doors

that used to open

and shut with a bounce

now hang ajar to

listless empty rooms

blank walls stare

repeat echoes

the memory of voices

whisper down

hallways missing

her footsteps

brother is very

quiet

too good

no one to fight

with anymore

the dog pricks

its ears

listens

for her car

in the drive

hears only 

a roar of silence

the cats walk

across her vacant bed

try to knead her

out of the mattress

but she’s gone

She wasn’t gone yet, but before long she was off on her own and married.  Next…
 
ON LEARNING MY DAUGHTER IS EXPECTING

How is it you find yourself

preparing to bloom

burgeoning with buds beginning to swell

turning into a cabbage

lovely shades of green

becoming large, round,

hard with tightly packed leaves–

I will have to check the sky for bird sign

keep a record of the temperatures

see which way the wind is blowing.

I don’t know how this can be

happening so soon!

We are not some seedy little annual

and it doesn’t seem

the world has gone twirling around

all that long

since I plucked you, myself,

from under the rose petal

where you grew

to be the daughter

woven into the song of my heart.

…which naturally led to the birth of her first child.  (The idea of the mermaid came from her love of the movie The Little Mermaid.)

MERMAID DREAMS                                               
                                  
When I dreamed you,
you were a mermaid
dancing on your green tail;
hair the color
of sunken treasure spilled
from pirate chests
fanned the waves
every undulation
strewing decorations of shellfish
filigreed with fanciful stories
in opalescent shades.
 
What was that siren song
you used to call me?
I only remember you
appeared one night in my arms;
you were so tiny–everyone
inhabiting this world became
a sudden giant.
 
What was the spell you cast
so you became my center
and I was deaf
but for the soft surf of your breath,
the underwater tugging
of your heart beneath my fingers?
 
Now you dream
a new fragment of possibility
for yourself,
bring this beautiful figment
to fill your arms.

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