Tag Archives: spring

Untitled Baby Poem #33

She is asleep, probably,
in the car: one of the things
I swore I’d never do,
in those lovely pregnant days
when I was a perfect parent,
before each moment of quiet
grew precious as wine, or sugar,
before she outgrew the bucket seat,
and woke each time I tried to carry her inside.

I should go check on her. When she wakes,
she’ll be upset, alone and in her carseat,
though safe enough in the driveway,
cool day and her daddy’s in the barn right there,
probably too far to hear her if she cries,
but he’d notice if an unmarked van pulled up
to steal her away. Probably.

But the house is so still and silent.
It’s hard to explain the quality of stillness
that is the absence of a high-strung toddler,
the absence of the endless why, the mama now,
the questing hands, half-swallowed puzzle pieces,
half-chewed sandwiches, half-finished thoughts,
always interrupted, always cut short. “I’m sorry,”

I say every time I’m on the phone, because even
if I do finish a sentence, it was probably about how she’s
pooping on the potty, and probably you don’t care. “It’s hard
to have a conversation in this life.”

Outside, the crocuses keep coming up,
despite her determination to yank out every one.
The daffodils are numerous to the point of safety,
and their bulbs are deeper-set, besides.

And then suddenly, my milk lets down.
I think she is awake.


dandelion field

We came in from the field
yellow to our knees in dandelion
sex. Got to find somebody
to hay down there,
before the grass gets too high;
got to find some way
to spin so much wildness
into gold.

#27 – Crabapple

I cut six branches
off the crabapple,
to bring inside
and force to bloom.

Spring is too slow
and I do not wish
to wait.

The leaves unfurl,
magenta, bronze. The buds
lift up their heads.

But no flowers come. Instead
they wither,
blacken and fall.

This is not a metaphor
for my life, which is happy
most of the time.

a reminder
to let some things be.

#21–23: Three hay(na)kus

wears pearls
in the mud.


eats only
with her fingers.


wears red
lipstick, and blood.

#17 – Dear Spring

Dear Spring, your husband
was slacking at his job – I don’t think
Winter showed up more than twice
in all his scheduled months. And so,
you will find it harder to claw
my eyes out, as you usually do. Already

it is April, and I hardly had the chance
to miss your sister. The living, as they say,
is easy, and it has been right through.

I saw a girl in short-shorts on Shore Road,
smack-dab in the middle of February. The radio
said it was the warmest winter
on record, and the radio
knows these things.

Of course, you got your swipe in,
your petty trick – froze all the apple blossoms
in the one coldest night, and now
when your charming lover comes calling
this September, we will mourn fresh cider
and think of you
as cruel, just as you wish.

But my heart hardly slowed its beat
all the dark months, and Winter gave ground nearly
all at once, instead of inch
by bitter inch in your usual
marital bicker and grudge.

So here we are now. Perhaps
you thought you’d won something,
cheating cuckold Winter of his due, dragging Fall
into the middle of things. But look –
the lillies may be unfolding their hands,
sweet as any year – but this year
I had not forgotten
the word flower, so the bright blade of your beauty
is dulled.

#10 – the Light

Repetition is holy.
Repetition is holy.

If you open your eyes
open your eyes,
let the light in,
the light inside
will shine,
shine out
shine out
shine out into the world.

The world is holy,
The world is holy.

If you open your eyes,
eyes open to the world.
The light inside.
Let the light in.

Resurrection is
repetition is

Ten thousand buds budding
on ten thousand trees trying
to grow one year wider,
each spring. Let the light in.


(First line stolen from Nikky Finney’s speech accepting the National Book Award for poetry, as per the prompt.)

This is probably why they suggest taking time off before the baby is born.

So hard to be a modern human right now. Hard to do anything that would be generally considered productive. All I want to do is talk to the baby in my belly – take a walk and talk to the baby, lie in bed and talk to the baby. I’ve moved past even the vacuuming-and-baby-sock-arranging mania that had been gripping me until now. All day – even when I’m here at the computer, remotely accessing the server at work like a good modern human and ostensibly editing press releases and managing website issues like a good employee – all day, there is a quiet chant in my head: and there are birds, baby, you’ll love birds, and the even though it just snowed the smells are coming back, spring is coming, you’ll love spring, we can’t wait to meet you, baby, there are so many people waiting to meet you, there are kitties and horses and soon there will be flowers, oh you’re going to love flowers, and there are so many wonderful people to love you…

Of course March is a lion.

Of course March
is a lion. What else but a cat
could play with us so well?

Rain soft as velvet comes purring
down, kneading the ground
to mud.
We sigh and come out of our winter burrows,

and are met with pelting ice,
and then a blizzard.

And next week, when sunshine
has the first real warmth in months,
we will think we’ve really escaped this time.
We’ll leave our coats at home & our throats bare.

March will barely
have to lift a paw.

Ready, set…

Dear baby,

Today marks 39 weeks that you’ve been growing inside me. (Well, really only 37 – for some reason they start counting with 2.) It’s a rainy day, and it rained all night last night, turning the snow to slush and mud. It was warm enough that we let the fire die last night, for the first time in months and months. This would be a nice day to be born, I think – with the rain and warmth promising spring (even though it’s a lie, it’s one you get to fall for every year).

Three weeks ago, someone asked if I was ready to have a baby and I said, “No! I don’t think you’re ever ready.” But it turns out I was wrong. I’m ready for you now. Of course, I’m ready to be able to put on my shoes without losing my breath, and I’m ready to have a medium-rare hamburger and a beer, and I’m ready to be able to sleep on my back again. And yesterday we finally got your bed set up and the carseat checked by an official carseat checker, and we’ve got diapers and slings and a mountain of tiny socks, so we’re ready to clothe and feed you, house you and move you around.

But it’s more than that. I’m ready now to step into the dance of birth with you – nervous, but ready – and I’m ready to meet you. I’m ready to hold you in my arms, where I can see you and kiss you. I know that I don’t really understand what your arrival into the outside world is going to do to our lives, and I’m sure that at times it will be frustrating and exhausting to be your parent. Am I ready to be completely responsible for a completely helpless little creature? Is it completely naive of me to say yes? I mean, I’m terrified, of course, but somehow that isn’t stopping me from feeling ready.

I thought that you were going to be born last weekend – I was sure if it, in fact. But it turns out that I’m not the one who decides when you’re ready, and it would seem you aren’t ready yet. And that’s okay. We’ll wait for you.

But, you know, anytime you’re ready, baby. We’re ready, too.