Release

A poem is never finished, only abandoned.
Paul Valery, French critic & poet (1871 – 1945)

I prefer to think of it as releasing, as opposed to abandoning. And just as with parenting, writing is a series of releases, with the understanding that we’re never completely finished. Where writing is concerned, I love revision–re-seeing–and, being a detail-oriented person, I could fine-tune forever. (This is one of my challenges with blogging–just getting something out there, even–especially–when it isn’t as polished as I would like.)  And I hope that with my parenting, as with any aspect of my life, I will always be fine-tuning myself, adjusting for the better.

Release

Poems, like children, will expose
you, lay you bare
in intimate vulnerability,
and for a few moments
that comprise an eternity
you won’t care
who sees.
Held inside,
gestating for weeks of days
till the body can’t hold them
anymore, and they come
barreling out so perfect-turned
you can’t believe
you had anything at all
to do with it.
You must tend
with intention, but if you try
to control them too much
they rebel or fall
flat. They’ll frustrate, even scare
you sometimes, mirror
and shine you just a little
too vividly for your own
comfort. You can hold them
in your heart, repeat
and turn their names, their words,
over in your mouth,
savoring the growth
and discovery.
But once they are out
there, in the world,
they live their own lives,
a future, you hope, beyond
your own.

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Peace

Sea Change

My son is all squall and blast,
howling at the pancakes
on the table, and I am rage
rather than compassion
for his tired state.  I slam
the plate and leave, but
there’s no abandoning
ship when you are the storm.
I thunder the hallway and throw
a defiant demand at the ceiling, God
help me! 
I expect
nothing.
But then, just as sudden
as the gale had rolled in,
Grace.
A change
in the climate,
a softening and calm
as though the swells
surging between
my shoulders just
dropped.
Peace, 
be still, spoken over the torrents
and tangle of waves.
My son sniffs and relaxes,
starts to eat, and I
breathe.

Several weeks ago, we escaped to a nearby lake for a few hours.  It was mostly peaceful, cooler and grayer than we usually get around here, and plenty of fresh air for breathing deep.

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