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Posts published in “Little One”

say what

she jumps on couch cushions,
tips of toes stabbing the cotton
as heels brace and spring
back
into the air, her weight-less-ness
becoming her happy place,
lasting as long as bounces do.

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She kicks while arms strike air,
Calling me to gallop, showing
She’s not had enough; and I’m
Doing everything I can to keep
Her satisfied, to keep her calm
While body marks growth with
Her pain; subsiding, my bridle
Bitten to avoid tears mixing
With the drool on our arms,
She quickens my feet, turning me
Around the couch we sit on to eat;
I twist to reverse, to give her
Something new, something to
Catch the attention fighting those
Cries; and her eyes move ahead,
Guessing our path, when I buck
And find another way to do the
Same thing, to stretch our walls
And give her want to smile, to
Free her, all while fighting those
Cries.

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You saw right through me today,
And all the ways I can’t protect you,
Whether in my sight or from it.
And you stared, and I cried,
The first time I’ve done so since your birth,
And you saw me as a fraud,
As this parent by necessity,
And whose only banner is of Try,
Whose only recourse is to soothe you,
And to support you, to hold you
While you cannot hold yourself,
And to give you reassurance
When you cannot know you need it
And to let you know I’ll always be here.
Even if you see right through that lie,
Know I’ll always be here
While I’m here, and I hope to leave you
With more than enough to be who you are.

I can’t protect her everywhere she goes, and that is crippling to think about. I felt this loss, this squeezing of my soul when I looked at her this morning. I knew this wouldn’t be how it always is, with her hands resting on mine, calmed by just my presence. I knew that she would grow up and rebel, or be pressured, or love, and that her mom and I couldn’t be there if she absolutely needed us to be there. I thought about my weight, about how I need to do better and be better so that I can be her support just those few years longer. I thought of how selfish I still am, despite Candi and I being the least selfish we’ve ever been. I felt how I always want to feel: protective.

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She
She screams and I hear it
Ripping away my childhood,
Giving me every reason to be
The feeder she wants, the
Protector she needs.

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Your mother is beautiful,
And powerful,
And willing/wanting
To do all you need of her
So you can be.

She taps the tips of fingernails
Against your room,
Calling you to answer–
And you do, surely,
And she welcomes you
As if you chose to say hello
And acknowledge she,
Your mother,
Is.

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You squirm inside
Your mother’s belly,
And she resists gravity
To carry you, foot
By swinging foot.

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There are always tappings,
Keys, claws, or fingertips,
When I write to you,
Keeping me on task and motivated
To best their pace.

I say that, then pause
To revel in the idea of you:
Not yet molded, so just
A blur, the perfect blur,
Undefined and yet
Familiar, family, loved,
Though you may rebel or
Embrace or fall away,
You will always be this
Blur, this perfect blur,
An embodiment of
Us.

How did you do this, daughter?
How did you give me hope again
That this world can be good, that
There’s more to life than trying,
That the days can slow to smiles, that
There’s time yet to be worthwhile,
That I don’t matter if you can correct
All the failures before you, just by
Being you.

It’s unreal. I am holding back from realizing how amazing it is that you may someday read this or hear this or whatever is done with text in your time. I’m writing to our daughter. This is so cool.

I should probably acknowledge that I’m a social media junky, so I should also probably apologize for being a jerk.

My Daughter

All of these clicks, clacks, cracklings of the joints count down the seconds wrapped in days waiting for you to be the embodiment of happiness, that wrapped joy just waiting to be molded by us, by our successes and our failures– and your own–, and our love of everything you do despite those.

Blinded, but feeling about with feet for the next steps we need to take, we’ll take care of you as best we can, holding on to now as much as memories; I know you’ll grow tired of them, but trust me, they’ll be worth something later– you’ll see.

Your Mom greets when you knock, hoping you’d reply, and you always do.

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1, 1, and now we’re 3.

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i’ll be on the road
with my navigator, and she’ll
be asleep, holding that
belly of hers, giving me
reason to split the lips
when smiling, and a tire will blow
or a radiator crack, and
i will have to slowly park
against the stream of highway travelers,
they who care not if we rejoin or disappear,
and i will leap to action, wake my one, and give
chase to thoughts of the worst possibilities,
letting adrenaline lead while reason sleeps,
and i will stand, breathing a chuckle, staring
inside myself at the scene of a situation
i didn’t bother to think of, but know i’ve got
all i need to handle it and get back in my seat
and go.

preppin for the eventuality
of everything falling apart around me.

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