Nourish

Seven AM rowdy bird screams reverb in the oppressive heat
Blasting unknown calls as others sing secret lyrics.
The chaotic symphony infuses my morning with calm.
Serenity amid the clatter.
The definition of contradiction.

Peace

I dry my seat from overnight dew as
A shaky speckled fawn sniffs
around the edges of the patio below.
Her saddle a constellation of white dots.
White tail flicking intermittently some
unseen fly as she moves out of my
Coffee spot gaze.

Welcome

On this other new dawn the weather is cooler. Relief.
The mother stands in the mulch
Just beyond the pool deck munching grass.
Yesterday’s fawn bounds toward her mom.
Baby’s head under belly tilts, grasping teat,
Sucking hard as her baby tail wags at warp speed.
Rhythmically lifting front hoof in time or excitement,
Like any joyful baby thrilling at mama connection.

Nourish

Pressing

Gleaming purple dream come true
It was the hand brakes that got me
Unconsciously pedaling while braking
Complaining about faulty brakes
Clenched hands battling pressing legs

Do I approve of the press?
The answer is no, of course
Certainly also the answer is moot
Inescapably pressing
The omnipresent foe
And always the hero of my story

Our Babies Too

How do I grind coffee, spoon heaping scoops into the basket, fill the reservoir with crystal clear water, press the red button green?

While the babies cry.

Brene Brown said her pediatrician husband knows every kind of baby cry. He recognizes these cries as terror and trauma. She implores. I cry.

How can I clear breakfast plates, dress for work, answer calls?

While the babies cry.

How do we sleep when tears flow and helpless anguish rings from every grandmother I know?

While the babies cry.

Today an aching heart and pounding head is my morning routine.

My family’s babies are healthy and happy and held tight in their mothers’ heartsick empathy.

The baby girl is already six months old and today is the day she could crawl.

The three year old big sister hides in a sofa tent with her favorite book, teetering in the precipice of reading.

Our constant motion 6 year old charges through life with vigor, determination and astounding beauty.

The three year old spider man knows the civilian name for every superhero. He sleeps each night in his spider man pjs.

This four year old floats in goggles and water wings in the new summer sun.

Our eight year old loves necklaces and shiny jewel boxes.

My family’s babies are safe in loving homes with parents who watch them sleep and cry for the infants in baby jails.

We all sob for the wailing infants in baby jails. How can we even say those words? Baby jails.

So we’ll call and march and write and rail against the hate and tyranny.

Beautiful brown babies are our babies too.

These babies crawl, read, run, dream, float, and dress up too.

The suffering of their mothers’ empty arms is ours.

We must save our babies.

Solo Saturday

A solo Saturday morning.

My tired body is strewn across a comfy chair, left leg draped over its soft arm. I’m dragging last night’s sleeplessness in heavy lidded half-mast eye slits, while I languish in my sore throat’s swollen scratchiness and feel sorry for myself for missing a festive friend weekend.

Suddenly, streaming sunbeams from high windows wash my bare legs with warmth and light as our sweet cat purrs nearby.

With a newly buoyed happy heart, my solitary weekend of recuperation and rest ensues.

Healthy Closet

The 8s, dejected, find themselves stranded
Pitifully pushed out, lost in the dark back
Not rejected entirely, since hope persists

Today 12s prevail large, front and center
They’ve become smug in their prominence
Confident now in their long enduring tenure

Of course it’s true that sporadically tiny 6s
Flamboyantly flourished in the coveted spot
And on rare occasions spunky 4s elbowed in

But rosy glasses cloud the hard to swallow
Truth that the tiny eras of 4s and 6s always
Begin as dark times of grief and searing sadness

In retrospect the stable 12s aren’t all that bad
And sensible 10s are just about perfectly crafted
For a healthy closet’s deep breathing peace

I Do That Too

Because I can answer the questions, I do
Because I can solve the problems, I do

Because I can see my new ex-girlfriend’s mother wilting,
Her shoulders stooped as she begins a diabetic dive,
While her daughter packs boxes, asking which soup
Ladle she can take. “Take them all” I say as I
Prepare her mother a cheese plate with neatly sliced
Cheese and fanned out crackers. I do that too.

Her mother looks from the party plate to my eyes
Sweat on her upper lip from stress and low blood sugar
“You always do too much” she says as she marries a
Slice of cheddar to a Triscuit and takes a bite of relief.

Because I can calm their anxiety, I do
Because I can get it done faster, I do

Because I can hear his tension simmering through the phone
When his proceeds haven’t arrived from the sale that closed
Two days ago, I sit in the theater’s 5th row center seat, clutching
My phone and coordinating a solution. Before the curtain goes up
I text the lawyer and the manager with instructions and suggestions,
Constructing a plan before the lights go dim. I do that too.

Because I know all this, every summer morning I breathe
Crushed lavender buds held to my nose in my cupped hands.

Because I know all this, as often as I can (yes, often),
I escape the phone calls and demands for an hour or two,
While I stroll through gardens of tulips and poppies with
My camera in hand, inhaling beauty and streaming sunshine,
And exhaling worry wrapped in brown paper packages tied
Tight with twine, happily littering the garden’s precious grounds.
Burdens I had accepted are scattered among the tulip petals.

I do that too.