Tuesday, April 10, 2018

In Due Time


I had my daughter
And as per my calculations
I would be free to pursue my dreams
Exactly eighteen years
After her birth

Until then
It was
Get down on my knees
Scrub the floor clean
Disinfect the bathroom
So well that I could see myself
In the gleaming bowl
And then get to cooking
Fourteen meals for the week

Till then
It was making sure
Soccer uniforms were washed
Growing bodies bathed
A million books read
Many trails walked
Thousands of memories kept
And countless nights awake
As I laughed tears of joy

I figured
It was well worth the sacrifice
Because in eighteen years
She would be grown and navigating the world
Right??

Wrong!!

She is back
This time with a kid
Of her own
Begging me to let them stay

After my initial shock
It is back to tossing my
Dream career
In the far off unrealized mirages
That tend to mock me
As I attempt to let my daughter
Realize her own dreams

Don’t get me wrong
I love my daughter
And adore my grandson

But I gotta be honest
I am not getting younger
And my dreams are slipping away
As I trip over my grandson’s toys
As he squeals
In happiness

I gotta be honest
I’ve got to live a little
Lay down at a beach in the Caribbean somewhere
Close my eyes
And be completely unperturbed
By midnight throw-ups
Teething pains
Monsters under the bed

Baby girl
I love you
But you’ve got to go
Make a life for yourself
With all the mistakes, loves,
Triumphs, tears that it brings.

For I am not walking into the sunset
With my grandson’s sunscreen lotion
Tightly in my hand.

My plan is to go out
Dancing salsa
My handsome prince
Spinning me on the dance floor

But please come visit
Anytime baby girl
Only be sure
Your return ticket
Is non-negotiable.



BE SURE


When you write a check
You better be ready
For it to be cashed in

Be sure that you
Have enough money in the bank
Be sure that you
Will not be charged
By the bank
For insufficient
Funds

Baby girl
When you write a check
You need to stride away
Confidently
Leisurely
Knowing that your bank account
Is thick
And well cushioned

Baby boy
When you do your morning dance
Your life full of wonder
Your stride full of life
Your handsome features your
Companion
You better be ready
To cash that check

For in this life
Nothing is ever for sure

We write checks
Using our blood as ink
Ready to carry our hearts
In the palm of our hands
Being ready to answer for
Our actions

You might just get a call
From an unknown number
Mechanically telling you
You have an overdraft
And that you need to pay
Overdraft fees
Because somebody
Cashed a check you wrote
And you were not able to deliver

Baby boy
Your handsome features
Will come to naught
Without living accountably
Handsome features is only an asset
When you take care of your business
And deliver on the promises you make
With the writing of various checks
Stop thinking of your good looks
As the only requirement
For writing checks
Because baby boy
Writing checks
And delivering on those checks
Requires back breaking work
That might steal all
Of your good looks

Baby girl
Before you write a check
Be a hundred percent sure
You possess the stamina
To cash it

Because baby girl
Life is especially unfairly stacked
Against you.
So be careful with the checks
That you write

Hear your pen’s screaming in protest
As you write a huge amount
On it.
For come delivery time
You will have to face the consequences
As your bank stamps
Insufficient funds
And directs you to pay
overdraft fees

Believe me dear ones
I have had to pay some
Pretty hefty fees
For overdrawn funds.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR


I married the wonderful man
Who was already the wonderful son
Of a beautiful, wonderful, complex woman
Did you hear me?

My wonderful knight in shining
Armor was already
The wonderful complex man
Of a
Beautiful
Wonderful
Complex
Self sacrificing
Woman

Before my wedding day
The knight’s mother
Made sure I semi-understood
As much as I could understand then
What it was I was
Getting myself into

“Sure,” I said
Head over heels in love
Knowing that her heart beat
At a similar pace to mine

I knew I was marrying more
Than the man.
He was already
His mother’s son
His father’s son
His sister’s brother
His brothers’ brother
A gift to the world

I knew that my marriage
Was bigger than the two of us

With the exchange of our vows
We weaved
Two families
Two cultures
Two continents
Two races
Two hearts
Together.

A NIGHTMARE


I had a dream
No, a nightmare
A nightmare that made me
Sit up straight in bed
Made me stare at the shadows
And wonder
At the contours
Of the shadows
Tracing them
Memorizing
Their very intricate
Outlines

The outlines
That made the man
Well,
Barely a man
A boy really.

The outlines
That made the boy
Walk out of his home
Into the school
With a deadly
Weapon
A weapon that he used

To claim the lives of
Those filled with dreams
Hopes,
Futures so tantalizing
They could hardly
Imagine

He claimed their lives
As his own
Weaving them into his story
Demanding to be heard
By those who had nothing
To do with his
Story

Did he melt
And mesh himself
Into the complicated
Uncompromising
Web
That is today’s society?

Dear hearts
We are praying for you
In our thoughts
In the candles that we burn
The roses that we smell
The vigils that we hold
Forever in our hearts.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

IN CHOOSING EACH OTHER

In choosing each other we have chosen uncertainty
For no one knows what the future holds

In choosing each other
We have chosen eternal companionship
In choosing each other we have chosen
To be there
Through thick and thin
Through the absurd
The improbable
The beautiful
The ugly

In choosing each other
We have chosen humility
We have chosen to
Make space for each other
We have chosen to learn together
And let go of past hurts

In choosing each other
We have made an other world
Complete with
World citizens
In choosing each other
We have opened ourselves up
For possible hurt
For laughter
For chaos
For life
For each each other

THE WALK


I was a young girl at the time
Doing my best to keep
Doing my best
I think I was thirteen
With a plate of food in my hand

There I was
Gingerly walking
Placing one foot in front of the other
Delicately
In the way of an emerging adolescent girl
Just starting to see the world
In red, blue, black
Thinking my own thoughts
When suddenly

I fell flat on my face
Fell without preamble
Ungraciously
My feet flailing every which way
My face contorted in an unnatural manner
My plate smashed into it's million individual pieces

My most urgent thought at that moment
Was not whether or not
I had physically hurt myself
But on the number of eyes
That were on me at the time

All eyes were on me!
All eyes at the party!
I had fallen from grace!
Irredeemably fallen
Never to have any social standing at all

I picked myself up
And less gingerly
More humbly
Walked back to my seat
While kind strangers picked up my mess
And tried to make me feel better

Methinks such is life
Methinks we all fall
At one point or another
We fall miserably
Without preamble
We make a plan
Walk gingerly
Accepting help only from
A chosen few
From those we deem worthy

But as I grow older
I am realizing
We are a symbiotic ecosystem
We all take and give to each other
Even when we choose to back out
Our absence contributes
Sometimes our absence contributes louder than our presence

It is our choice how we contribute
And the plan that goes into it
But beware
At any time
That plan can fly out the window
And you might fall smack on your face