Thursday, February 16, 2006

Something Light. By J. Braun

I think I’ll have a little something light,

smooth and creamy,

and puffed with air.

I’m there,

for a small sweet morsel,

an existential snack

after a long hard day,

with aching legs, neck and back.

I want something whipped up,

like clouds floating above the earth,

balloons bouncing in the sky

where I wish I was.

I’m in the mood for a

soft, fluffy nibble,

sugar dusted pillows,

of thick, luxuriant delight

at the end of my night,

something silky, satiny enough

to lay my head upon

and find rest.

Something light for me is best,

to ease my doubts,

boost my ego,

and salve my wounds,

to round off the sharp edges of my life.

I need a light, soft place to fall,

to stand tall,

and have strength for all the hard days and nights.

I choose something delectably, confectionably,

especially, deliciously, comfortingly, undeniably,


Friday, February 10, 2006

From a daughter. By Anonomous

So much of my life is lost in fog
Remembrance is a commodity, like rare spun silk
That I long to touch
I remember instead the feeling of silk,
the taste of things she baked me
And the way I always wanted her approval, the warmth of her eyes that
Could fill a soul, could make sure you knew
That no matter what, you were still beloved.
She speaks to me now as one woman to another,
Her words are languid, she takes her time,
She enjoys the exchange
We share like a fine meal.
We take our time, my mother and I
We luxuriate in the peace between us,
The lack of strife and longing at our table
That has made us the best of companions.

She remembers details and I just the sensations.
She remembers standing in that group of strangers
And speaking her heart, speaking her fear, her
Faith, her love and her hopes for us all.
I remember no words, only that I stood beside her more proud than I
have ever felt since,
And marveled that I came from her body,
That aside from all the things this woman before me was, she was also
a Creator of life.

She speaks to me now and I listen.
She aches and I feel dull numbing pain also.
She laughs and I rejoice silently,
She asks and I answer with all my heart.
This is the love without conditions that makes each breath I pass
The secret elixir of life that allows my body to continue to move
Through days of confusion and learning,
Bringing me closer to her, and more understanding
Of her life with each morning I awake.


With apologies to Dylan Thomas. By N. Lerman

Do not go gentle into that good night
No! No! she wails
Against bedtime I must fight!
And in the quiet hours of the early morn,
Mommy! Daddy! she wails
From restful sleep I am again torn.
Seven years they say,
Till quiet nights will come your way.
Six to go - God help me!
I know for sure I don't want three.

N. Lerman, mom of two toddlers ages 3 and 1.

Not from a local mom, but from our wonderful Billy Collins.

The Lanyard

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Her tightrope. By H. Gerber

‘The tightrope’ she walks

‘between euphoria and resentment’

is how she puts it.

Euphoria perhaps too strong a word

but it is a poem,

and it’s the opposite of resentment

which I do not doubt.

I had this odd tugging in my

chest when I read that;

the ‘tightrope’ line,

I must glimpse a different life

for myself

had I chosen to give myself to a child

at 30 instead of 40.

Had I taken less trips, lovers, late nights,

drunken afternoons in bed watching rain.

Certainly I would feel it too

that ache of wonder

of what might be Now had I not;

and the ache of wonderment at

what I did choose,

that small pale hand


Those cheeks flushed with life

and rage

and all that frustration

the small ones have at

knowing the potential of everything

yet not having the grasp

to take what

is so rightfully theirs.

I walk no tightrope with her

though I can sometimes identify

those who walk it

and my ache for them is real

but fleeting

for I know

in my less than infinite wisdom,

that what they hold today,

is what we will all ache for in the years that

are to follow.

Second chance. By H. Gerber

There are days

the best days

when I get dizzy

with the realization

that I am not still married;

trapped like a mouse in glue

to that gentle failure

and can I even begin to write about 360 pounds of sad

and need

and defiance for not being

fully accepted as he was,

every heavy fold of brown skin

the two moles that sprung from above each eyebrow making him

devilish in a way no woman would fall for,

except me

because if he was the beast,

I for once

got to be the beauty.

There are days

the best ones

where I look at my child

and don’t know how I got so lucky,

perhaps a dream

and I am still in that big new house

alone waiting

for my happy drunk to wander in

2am, 3

and I am thin and carry a big rock

like a weapon on my finger

my hair in tendrils that don’t yet

need for paint to hide the brittle white.

Youth was leaving me in any case, and now

though I cling to it

more than I should

I also taste no ruin

on my tongue

and no shame

for what I did to get away.

Tightrope. By Anonymous

Yesterday was sublime.
Today I am shattered.
My son's sweet disposition
has been vanquished
by his relentless objection
to my every suggestion.

"Would you like breakfast?"
"How about some fruit?"
"Let's read a book."

...and then the tears begin
and there is no end.
There are only more tears,
and snot, and screams.

Is it any surprise when
a voice from my past
whispers seduction
that I eagerly lap it up?
Do I secretly hate my life?

I love the warmth of my son's face,
how his head fits perfectly in the
curve of my neck,
while he reaches his small hand
up to touch my hair.

Yet I am constrained by my role as mother,
caregiver, and comforter.
I walk a tightrope between
euphoria and resentment.

Do you wonder why
I crave an escape?