February 12, 2010

Did you know
that a whale’s aorta is so big that a baby
can crawl through it?
And did you know that a diplodocus
weighed 17 tons, but had a brain
the size of a small lemon?
And did you know that Star Wars
was filmed in Tunisia,
and the Jawas spoke Swahili and Zulu?
And did you know, Daddy, Daddy,
did you know? Did you know
that I love you, and that the tallest building
in the whole world is in Dubai?
Did you know?

For the Weekend Wordsmith - Whale.



February 12, 2010

From my balcony, I see the planes
roaring out of BWI on their way
to somewhere I’d rather be.

From my bed I hear them
all through the dark hours as
I try, unsuccessfully, to kill
another night away from you.

(For the Weekend Wordsmith, "balcony")

Champagne For One

For the Weekend Wordsmith, Champagne

Champagne For One
April 24, 2009

Do you remember
standing alone while all around
each welcomed each
to a new year with a kiss.

The champagne bubbling cheerfully
as you left it on the table
and quietly left.


March 14, 2009

A sudden burst of sunlight across the ice.
A dozen skaters radiate
out from their instructor, bright yellow
paper clutched in their frozen fingers.


This week, I had to give my kids hard news. And then, just as they were reeling from that blow, I had to give my daughter more hard news.

Kids are inscrutable to me. I can't tell what's going on in behind their stoic expressions, or even behind their tears. When they say that everything's fine, does it mean that everything's fine, or that they don't have words for their feelings - feelings that, even at 37, I don't have words for. What can I offer but a safe place for them to feel what they feel? I have no answers to the hard questions they ask, and what few answers I might have, I can't always give.

We have handed our kids a hard life, and so every new thing that they encounter that hurts them makes us all the more aware of what a hard life we've handed them.

A few weeks ago, I took a photo of my son's torn pants, and it was the prompt on Weekend Wordsmith last week. It came together in the rambling words below. It's not great poetry. It's barely poetry at all - just prose with line breaks. But it's how I process thought and emotion.

March 3, 3009

I wish, like a million before me,
that I could mend for you
what I have ripped, stitch up
the frayed edges, put back together
the loose ends I have untied,
and those around me
that I had no part in tearing.

My needle is dulled,
my thread snapped,
my hands occupied in mending
my own tattered rags.

If I could put them aside
and repair this one rent
you know I would.

I see in your eyes that you know
I would.

Maybe that's enough.

It has to be.

Still, I look for that skein
with which we might patch
this wound.


Some people are heroes. And some people jot down notes. Sometimes, they're the same person. (The Truth. Terry Pratchett)