Thursday, April 30, 2009

the audience...

loved it.

i had an amazing reading.

wish you all had been there.

sammy was wide-eyed from the 6th row

marcel, as if on cue screeches MAMA in an otherwise silent room of over 300.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We Your Boys

I had a great insight around the poem today, and it took a sweet leap of it's own.

We Your Boys

We Your Boys. We
Make noise. We

Nix naps. We
Log laps. We

Pass plates. We
Share traits. We

'Night Moon. All
grown soon.

When I removed June from the equation, the poem opened up and became about my family, and it became my poem. (We Night Moon, a nod to Goodnight Moon and our evening ritual) The "All grown.." allows for my twist to take up it's space... and for the poem and the children to "grow up" so to speak. In other ways the word choice is actually a much tighter response to Brooks.

Here's to poetry month.


Sam's preschool teacher told me that the entire classroom has actually "Settled down" with his return. His leadership there was missing. How about that.

Marcel now says "Oh my gosh," all the time.

I am wildly excited and nervous about the talent show.

On the Fly: Fast Fiction


Two of your favorite bloggin' single mama's creative non fiction pieces will be included in the upcoming anthology On The Fly: Fast Fiction. Great writing by many a talented writer I assure you. Consider your holiday shopping taken care of! More details to come. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dog Day

thanks to Lily for a sweet reunion day.
Talking about how your
was placed
for adoption
essentially-with another family
because you were not able
to provide her
with the care,
and time
she needs to thrive
made for some very
on my part.

Stay tuned for how
we continue to process
this one.

(Lily was visiting for the day
and will return
for a week
this summer.)

Sam remembers
her vividly
and loves her


At the upcoming faculty talent show
I am going to read again.
Black Enough had its
debut there three years ago.

This year I move
away from the free verse
poetry to new forms.

First I will read this little tribute to
Gwendolyn Brooks' poem
We Real Cool*

We Your Boys

We make noise. We
break toys. We

skip naps. We
run laps. We

clear plates. We
share traits. We

crave June. We
sleep soon.

Then one prose pieces-Tattoo
That appears here
in January I think.


*We Real Cool

The Pool Players. Seven at the Golden Shovel

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Over the hill

I made it.
Up the huge hill by the cemetery
On foot.
At a reasonable pace,
On my right the markers of the mothers
and others laid to rest, for the long

After lunch
our last meal together
before she returns south
my mother wonders out loud-
if death is when we
just get to revel
in the moments

we missed enjoying fully
when they happen-

like Marcel feeding the ducks
I was nostalgic
about that time with him

when I was walking by the pond alone
this morning...
Why didn't I enjoy it more then?

That cemetery on my right,
and the airport
over the hill
and to the left reminded me
to keep my wings on-
so that I don't find myself
at rest

Wings for what?
That's what I wondered
as I ran up that
hill of promise
for the second time-
and it was oddly easier then.

What are all the
what ifs I could accomplish
if I remembered to:
Write more.
Find the love.
The grown up kind
that I am
ready for now
I insist with each lunge
up that steep
ready for now
that the buds are
anxious to unfold-
and the little black feathers
curling around the drakes'
landing wings.

Running up that hill
the cemetery on the right
with all the dead leaves
begging at the
fence to be let in
felt like a promise
I was keeping to myself-
to move.
To take up space
while I am able.
To not settle into the
grip of small fear
to move beyond those too.

Running past the hospital
I imagined those just
beginning-purple, brown and new.
Those nearing the end of their
medical records, of all
that will be written about them

And I run faster.
Neck strait.
Feet sure.
Breath bold.

I am not old.
I am not anything
that I don't choose to be.

I am one day closer

to this up and
over the hill

Thursday, April 23, 2009

He's got the whole world..

in his hands.
At his new old school,
(or is that his old new
school?) where Sam
for the day.
To hugs,
Welcome Back signs,
Circle time leader,
and where
you make the Earth
out of clay.

They began with red,
the sun, followed by
orange, the warm part
he explained. Then green
and blue, mom, for the ocean
and the land.
Did you know here is
New Mexico, and South Portland
on this globe of his own design.

The coolest part is what happens
next. It comes apart-
split right down the middle
to reveal all that work he did
today, creating this planet
from start to finish.

I am no longer
split down the middle-
I think as I hold the
two sides in my hand.

So it was a good day
back then? You were happy
to see your friends,
visit Marcel
care for the planet?

Mom, actually
the entire was
all about
me he
self reports

(And me.
Who knows she made the
right decision
with new certainty.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Easy Street

Sam's on it-
Easy Street.
It's a new ease
in his listening,
humor, willingness
and with him self.

Sarah called it a shift
in his processing,
like he gets things
quicker, he comprehends.

I agree.

I notice that I am
repeating and
requesting and
negotiating less.

That I am laughing,
and conversing,
and suggesting more.

I am waking lighter.

We are doing things
together with giggles
and OK's and Sure.

This is what I imagined
parenting would be someday-

Then there was Marcel...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

If you ask me..

A week on vacation means:
more sleep for me
(and mom)
more words to learn
like the gasses
on my face
and more BUSses to announce
balls and tantrums that need throwing
and so many more opportunities
to wrap my arms around mama's
up-pee, up-pee legs and whine-
Sounds like a fine fine
time to me.

Vacation Sweet

We're on April break.
Off to karate
after waffles and Dr. DoLittle.
Library, playground, bike-ride
before the nap.
(While mom cleans the house)
and then we'll see-
maybe just take it easy.
Nana's coming tomorrow.
We can't wait.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Coolness personified
in the way only
Uncle can capture.
Sure the car helps
and the shades bring it all
to that moment
somewhere between
his lips and his

Where his mother
looses her child there
for a moment
in a mirage
of a young man
poised for the
only he will
divine from our

the goldfish bowl is murky

the goldfish bowl
is murky
but Balloon swims on
two bowls of water to be added
sit nearby waiting
for me to make time
next to the bills
things for the calendar
and the notes
about a campground in Alfred...
Balloon's fine.

So is Marcel
despite the gazillion purple
bumps and 103 at waking
doctor says a virus is to blame
I think his body is still
angry about all those
shots last week.

Narrow escapes
come in so many forms.
the building inspector next door
who noticed the cover to live
wires of the fatal to the touch
on the ground
at my house
the electrician who was nearby
and reinstalled it for free
just because
he could

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Easter Bunny really knows what I like

This looks like one of those photos that the editor removed the ball, and you try to draw it in the right spot to win a prize. Don't let the bagel throw you, we are on an egg hunt here, and apparently both boys have just made visual contact with some prize material.

After opening up all his chocolate filled eggs, Sam declared that the EB really knows him well, to know how much he likes chocolate.

I am home sick today. I am trying so hard to dodge whatever it is. I have had the energy to write--and have not had the energy to clean. How blessed an event is that?

I just completed an important piece that speaks to how I felt as a biological mother verses an adoptive mother. Since I want you to return here frequently to read the piece, I am not giving away the answer. I will be submitting it to Brain, Child and other publications this week. I'll post part of it here as soon as I have sent it into the world in it's entirety first. Wish her well! I am taking my Wayward Writers Online class again with Ariel Gore, and it is moving the tectonic plates of my writer self again. The movement is even deeper this go around.

It really is impressive that I haven't even put a load of laundry in, or gone grocery shopping. This is progress.

Friday, April 10, 2009

in the eyes of a stranger

coming home on the 7:40 ferry tonight
after dinner and two hours of playgrounding and strolling
with T on the island
my wind swept
well giggled
and nourished family
sat content across from each
other at a table.

We smiled
ate cookies,
shared cookies,
and charmed the
lobster buoys
off of the three couples
sitting quietly
and smiley
around us.

Marcel's scrunched up
WHOA pronouncement
as he points to the WA-WA
outside, immediately followed by
COOKIE, and an offer to any
who would like it, scored a perfect
10 each time

Sam's sweet reminders to
his brother to
chew carefully
bottom on chair
and repeat the numbers
from 1-10
(between chews of course)
drew adoring stares from
the loving crowd.

And I just sat
and watched.

Exiting the ferry, a young woman
a mother too
I think from the
way she delivered the lines;
You are such a good mother
no, really.
You are.

And for once I did not
try to disagree.
Although really
they make it
so easy.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

and then it was dark..

I am not convinced that I made the right
In fact I feel horrible.
Did I act too quickly.
Did I listen to Sam's words
with the best intention,
but with poor judgement around what a
four year old
(even such an aware one) knows about
where he is, or where he wants to be

Can you tell that I talked to the director
of the current school
and the teachers
who were shocked, saddened
and confused.

Now they tell me how
happy he is,
how bright this star shines
how much everyone loves him here...

Now they tell me about the
weekly progress reports,
and photo journals they were keeping
and how if I had just asked
they would have shown me


and all I was told was that he was


And fine is just not a word I have
ever been
comfortable with.

A decision that is done
and done and done

feels thick
and undigested in my
swirling what ifs

had I had a partner
to have gone in and asked where
I was getting nowhere

or to have heard another
side of Sam's story
then what else might I be writing
about tonight?

It's not like
me to second guess
to wonder if my instinct needle
is set to true north

or not.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Living with an 18 year old

today I finally made a long
and labored
decision to throw in the new school towel
and run back home...

Sammy is returning in two weeks
to the preschool he has been in since the Y's
sudden demise.

why did we leave?
more importantly-why are we going back?


he kept asking.
he kept asking and asking.

he tried.
he made new friends.
he ate the food.
napped in the new place.
and learned the new rules
requests, and circle time

and then he'd ask again.
mom can I please go back to my
old school?

the most convincing argument besides-
my teachers love me more there
and my friends really like me
and I want to be in school with Marcel
but mostly I just was happier there

was when after I explained
that some decisions we will make
and some I will make on my own,
and some he will make
But for the most part he would
have to wait until he was eighteen
before he could make certain
big decisions by himself.

thinking we were done
talking for the night
I turned to put away the dishes

a few minutes later
I look over and tears are racing
down both cheeks;
but mom I will be too old to go to my old school
when I am 18...

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Mom I want to be a girl.

Oh, why?

Because they get to wear a thing on their head when they get married.

You can wear a veil at your wedding if you decide to get married.

No, I can't. Boys don't wear them.

If I get married, you can wear my veil.


I went to my friend Andrew's book release party
( tonight. I could only stay long enough to purchase, hug,marvel, get signed, eat chocolate, admire wife, stare at beautiful young children, and realize how close I am to sharing such a moment. I walked home with The Body of This proudly under my arm, and a renewed commitment to have my children at my book signing in the near future.


Marcel is apparently patterning blocks. This is apparently not a pattern for those his age. I took too much pleasure in the momentary delusion that somehow his proclaimed genius made me somehow other than I am.


Going to see David Sedaris tomorrow. He is performing in a venue ten times the size of the one I saw him in last time I saw him five years ago. More inspiration.

A few short pieces will be included in an anthology that will come out this summer. Movement.


A Civil Rights Movement unit with my eighth graders that is pushing them, and me. My teaching continues to stake out new territories. Growth.

Things pushing up in my little six foot by two foot garden. I removed the debris, and welcome each sprout. I swept the sidewalk, and picked up garbage all around the house, and sidewalk. Uncovering.

Marcel and I went to the park. The snow was gone. We yelled at ducks. Arrival.

Staff talent show in three weeks. A commitment to read two new poems. Unknown.

A promise to myself to get out once a week. Survival.