Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom

I’ve known I wanted to be
A mommy
Since before I was three
And it’s because of you.

I wanted to be for my dolls—
And later my boys—
What you were for me.

And I thank you
For putting so much
Of yourself
Into me
And for making it look easy.

But most of all
I thank you
For letting
My late-thirties me
Fall apart
In your arms
Over the phone

And for refusing to allow
Me to measure myself
Against the mommy
I thought you were
When I was three

And insisting I see myself
The way you say
You have always, always
Seen me: as a miracle
And to love
Myself at least that much

Because that’s how mommies love.
And that’s how mommies see.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tending the Fire

This week's readwritepoem prompt asked us to make a poem from the images of one of our dreams. I had several dreams with a recurring theme this past week: a fire under my desk in my office. I've taken the feelings I remember having in these dreams and tried to put them together in a stream-of-consciousness way. I shared one of these dreams with a friend of mine this week. Michelle, I left out the spider monkeys, but kept some of the anxiety.
If I could just put
Out the fire burning beneath
My desk I could go
With you to the big
Party and meet all of our
Old friends and show them
How well I’m doing
How thin and happy and loved
I really am and
How fulfilled I feel
In every corner of
My soul it’s just so
Persistent those tongues
Of flame crackling beneath
My office desk and
I—I just can’t seem
To put them out no matter
How many blankets
I throw to smother
It burns and burns and maybe
My important thoughts—
All my precious words
Will turn to ashes and all
Fall down so yes I
Know I am keeping
Everyone waiting and that
Today will never
Happen again I
Must stay and contend with
This troublesome fire
I can’t put it out
So I’ll fight to contain it
It’s the least and the
I can