Thursday, May 23, 2013

Me:  Eliana, I love how excited you always are to take trips.

Eliana:  That's how I'm like you, mama.  We're not the same in size, we're not the same in color, but we're the same on the inside.  And that's all that matters.

I love that child.  I do. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

mama's day eve

Mama’s Day Eve 2013

Her marker’s almost run dry, girls with curls in triangular skirts,
blue balloons on long, red strings.
She pauses to take a wet bite of pear, the juice
sticky on her hands, then rubbed into the wooden chair back.
She’ll be six soon.  The May clouds surreal in their perfection,
green of leaves twinkle softly in late afternoon sun,
shadows and light, their gentle shift.

Last night our oldest buddy sat in this chair, his girl beside him.
They told us their plans of building a new life in a new town,
of housing prices and recreation opportunities. 
We made our way through the wine, our laughter growing louder,
the bass keeping us young, the children asleep
down the hall.

“This is one fat, red heart I’m drawing, Mama.  It’s for you, but don’t look!”

We leave glasses and plates, shards of baguette and oil thick with garlic,
our neglect of the kitchen a small, unifying rebellion
and move slowly towards the bedroom, the lines more pronounced beneath our eyes.

I dreamed about this moment:
Writing poems in my book, my girl across the table drawing away,
Joni Mitchell croons her raspy range through the radio,
The breeze easy through the open door.

“I know what a person who makes books is called:  a journalist.  I’m gonna draw one of those flowers that you taught me, Mama.”

I pour myself more pinot, watch the way they watch each other.
They haven’t spent more than eleven consecutive days together.
She's beautiful.  He smiles coyly and calls her mi amor.  
I drift in and out of memory, nothing but boxes of books packed in an old car,
how young we were, with nothing to lose.
I remember the bend outside Rock Creek, my first sight of
the Sapphires, the swift moving creek.

Monday, May 6, 2013

what three looks like

The sun sets over this gorgeous valley and I settle into my first quiet of the day.  Work is full and nutty this time of year, the heat riling children up in new and wild ways, my job more like tap-dancing and pleading than teaching.  Anything for some quiet.  Anything.

My children seem to have the same spring thang.  With temperatures close to eighty here today, everyone is wildly giddy.  Eliana just seems to touch and talk about everything in her path.  She's all about doing it herself right now which can be really, really awesome (like when I find her in the kitchen fixing snack plates for her and her brother) or really, really annoying (like when she insists on pulling out her clothes by herself and in climbing the closet shelves ends up dumping the whole lot of freshly folded duds on the floor).  Solomon continues to be non-stop motion.  He had his three year check up today and managed to stand on my thighs (straight up, mind you) three times during the visit.  Dr. Judy smiled and talked about how agile and physical he is, how I handle him so well.  That's all I've known from him.  I feel like Dr. J and I have been having the exact same conversation about him each time since he's been about six months old.  He's always sweet and personable and moving like a mo-fo.  He climbed up on to the examination table on his own, put his little hands behind his head and splayed his little body out like a rock star poolside.  Dr. Judy and I exchanged a lot of smiling glances while Soli showed off how rad he is at three.  Awesome.

And my quiet reverie was very rudely and abruptly interrupted by two little chickens leaving their rooms, claiming hunger, demanding toast at which point I realize that the trash is sort of stinky, lift it from the can, and the bag bursts all over the floor of what was, finally, a clean kitchen.  Which turns into sweeping and sifting and then there are no more bags and I'm covered in coffee grounds and grime and need to take a shower and the kids are hustled back into bed by dad.  Now, half an exhausting hour and one lovely shower later, I don't have my same mojo to write.

Which is kinda how I feel a lot of the time right now.  I choose to have Solomon in May because it's always the toughest month to teach.  I kept waiting this weekend to have the energy to blog about Sol, to get an awesome picture, to capture that essential moment.  But the moments just kept flowing and going, one into the other like wildfire, no time to stop and reflect because at the end of it all, I'm just sort of done by the time the get in bed.  That said, I did manage to finally upload a bunch of pictures from my camera on to the computer and there is some great stuff. 

It's been a heck of a ride these past few months. We've blasted into spring, said goodbye and hello to dad, dressed up,  paraded through town, hiked the "M", eaten too much sushi.  We've rocked some really awesome bedhead, rocked harder on little guitars, had cake and ice-cream and stayed up way to late on our third birthday.  We've yelled and sighed and cursed and laughed and danced to, "Footloose" (you've gotta see the way Soli air-guitars those opening bars...).  We are these wild moments. 

Friday, May 3, 2013


For Solomon on his Golden Birthday

I don't know what three is
for little boys.
I do know what I see lately -
wild hair, basketball shorts, air guitar,
real guitar, make-believe, racing legs,
words and words and words,
total commitment to us all.

I've always thought about how
seamlessly you landed in our lives,
the average Monday work day,
the way bath-time turned dinner-time
turned Soli time as you quickly made
your way from my body before any of us
really even realized what was happening,
your fist in the air, your fighter body sturdy
and strong, even then.
Your big lips.  I knew you were mine.

The next year was not simple.
Something cracked open inside of me
when you were born.  Something new and
unexpected and so unlike the first time around.
I didn't always know how to handle it all,
how to know who I was in it all,
the redefining, the way I wanted to run away,
you in my arms, flee your defiant sister and
hard-working dad, take you somewhere quiet,
a tall field of wet grass,
a mountaintop,
somewhere we could just be,
the way you absorb into me,
the far-flung romance,
strung out on no sleep,
my heavy wet chest.

I'd stay all day,
find the fastest route back,
fierce and forlorn,
like all things for love.