Every family needs a little poetry at this time of year. We've gathered some here by local parents, a few of whom are published poets, but most of whom are just folks who write an occasional poem.
Of Historical Significance: A Mother Caught Daydreaming
I imagine my child
conjuring the elements
of global peace
or divining the next Great Age,
achieving historical significance.
Our house of unimposing beige
with white trim, transforms
to a tourist attraction.
Groups of six or eight
wander through our kitchen
to see the historical sponge juxtaposed
with the authentic sink before
proceeding to the sitting room
where the coffee table
is stacked high with reproduction Algebra
and French books.
They step to the sliding glass door
to envision the dog being let in and out
and in and out. They move en masse
to our study and see a mannequin
positioned behind a velvet rope.
It poses as my now-famous daughter, as a girl,
working at her antiquated computer or
lying on the carpet,
on her back, staring at the ceiling,
dreaming to music of the era.
People smile and reminisce
about the good old days,
before heading into the bathroom
with working, period fixtures.
They gaze into the vintage mirror and see
my daughter staring back,
brushing and flossing.
"Surely her parents knew
she was an exceptional child," they'd murmur
in hushed reverence,
gazing upon a sliver of soap
excavated and preserved
--- Margie Rolleston
The philosophy of shouting
Is well founded. Like causality,
Respect is invisible
But inexplicably real.
Lodged in the body
With no guide but instinct,
We walk that line
Of awkward love.
Making more and yet more room,
Their stories must become,
Letting them grow
Into complete strangers we meet
After it's far too late.
--- Edward Graham Lynch
Finding the Flaw
Iris pauses to focus, your
proposition in her sights, wide
green eyes far away and searing.
The matter settled, she waits for
nothing, lays out her point, no pride
taken, nothing in her bearing
besides frankness. This five-year-old
philosopher, keeper of gifts
so staggering, charms and annoys
in equal measure. Neither cold
nor warm, her contrary way lifts
my spirits, but God help the boys.
--- Adam Wilcox
Chilled by the early morning frost,
I check on you one more time.
Again, you've kicked off your blankets,
Crouched like a frog around the one Grandma made.
Your legs were made for kicking.
You like your bed unmade.
I cover you anyway
And go downstairs wondering
How you'll leave home.
Before you were born, I slept too much
And cried too little.
You clipped my wings
And pulled me to the floor.
Looking out the window I think, "This is where I live."
You'll be awake soon,
Hitting the floor running.
I won't have time to do puzzles
And you won't wave from the window.
There will be time for new games.
But right now, the house is still
And my body is warm
As thoughts of you expand and contract
In the womb that beats in my chest.
--- Charlie Blum
On My Father's Seventieth Birthday
When little Nat cries at night
and I hold him
until he feels calm and safe
I echo all your hugs,
sensing your arms around me.
--- Will Hubbell
West Church Street
Driving in the summer dark
with the moon
roof open and the Beatles singing "Girl"
you let out a screech
flailing at some spider
I can't see as I careen
off the curb and pull
to a stop to let you out
the shuddering stars
--- Dave Tilley
Come lay with me my little boy
and tell me about Helen of Troy,
of Injun Joe and CowboyTex,
of lion safaris and the witch's hex.
These fantasies from your mind
are my delight; tomorrow I'll find
you no longer my little boy,
but a man who has no time for toys
or Indians, cowboys, lions & bears;
you'll be consumed by adult cares
that take you away from me in my bed--
preparing yourself for what lies ahead.
So come my child, let's tell silly jokes,
for soon I'll be just one of your folks,
and all these moments will forever be
locked in my heart. Only you'll hold the key.
--- Jennifer Sanfilippo
After thirty-one years
the teapot's smooth white porcelain
still reflects the morning scene
in two gleaming curves.
Crisp spring sky,
and the sunlit side of my face
mingle at left with
a delicately drawn blue landscape.
At right, a curving miniature
of reflected shadows
blends with the thin cobalt lines
of waves and blossoms.
This teapot and six small cups
were a wedding gift
when, at the age of twenty, I married my first husband.
The note from a childhood friend read
"May you have a baby for every cup!"
Perhaps this morning I'll get to some housework
before I call my son at school.
We'll talk about summer, writing, and Spain
after I've washed and dried the dishes
from this morning's meal
and put away one small chipped cup.
--- Karen K. Anderson
Sledding in the park
Push, rush, hold tight, steer, Steer, STEER
Cold mouthfuls of snow
Elmo and Patsy
On the radio again
Hand me the hammer
Midnight bells outside
Broken shingles in the snow
Boot stains on the rug
Who baked these cookies?
They're funky, but taste okay
What's this stuff on top?
--- Craig Brownlie