Nurture

I did not learn early
to love my body.
I sigh sometimes
to untangle curls, another
task in a day
of tasks.
I do not hold holy
in my hand
the toothbrush, take
a few moments more
to care for these teeth,
or carry enough
gratitude for the
geometry of the joints
that carry me.
But I am learning
what the massage therapist knows–
who sees naked form
bundled into bones,
sinews, and muscles splayed
on a table before him every day
like a sacrament–
there are only beautiful
bodies.

Advertisements

Beautiful Things: May 12th, 2016

One of my most important purposes for homeschooling is to fill my children’s lives with beauty of all kinds. At the same time, I sometimes have a hard time noticing and holding onto the beautiful things that dapple our days. (To be fair, I just learned that there is neurological evidence that negative thoughts, feelings, and experiences imprint instantly on us, whereas positive ones need to be savored for a minimum of 15 seconds to attach).  So, I am keeping lists.

-a canopy of tree shade in our yard, sunlight softened as it filters through
-baby girl sifting mulch at the playground with her fine fingers
-my middle boy smelling the baby’s head, and telling me it’s a different kind of sweet than me
-first boy’s counting to 100 by I-Love-You’s at bedtime (I-love-you 1, I-love-you 2, I-love-you 3….)
-hearing each of my loved ones breathing in the still of night
-the poem Pied Beauty, by Gerard Manley Hopkins, taped to my bathroom wall
-reading Far from the Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy
-a giraffe’s slow grace at the Zoo, and how I enjoyed the little train ride, with my arm around my boy
-second son asking me what my favorite part of the day was, and when I answered about his giving me a card and book, he said with satisfaction, “I thought you were gonna do that”
-dancing and singing with my kids and remembering when my mom did the same with my sibs and me
-how burying my nose in my kids’ hair can change me and the trajectory of my day in a moment

Spill

All my anxieties spread before me
in that two-feet-square slick
of sludge on the tile. Even after making
up with my boy for my overreaction
to the upset tumbler, I still grieved
having broken the beautiful
morning. Felt I had shattered
some pristine crystal sculpture.
No,
my husband gentled me
in his arms. It’s more like the water,
the rock thrown does not ripple
it forever. Calm returns and the whole
of the body of water is unbroken
again, the deep envelops, embraces
and covers, absorbing the impact,
stone sinking until it joins
the soil and sediment, the foundation solid
and undisturbed beneath.

Sacral

The chiropractor presses
my pelvis, coaxing the bones
back after they’ve spread
their boundaries. My hips protest
every morning as I pull
myself from bed, lift from a game
on the floor, shuffle down
the drive. Spaces are growing
inside me, ligaments and joints
stretching their borders even
as things become tighter, more
crowded in my stomach, my ribs.
I want to realize the wonder,
even as I swear I will never
do this again.
Someone said we never
want it to be over, even
the difficult parts. Voices
compel me to seize
the day, enjoy every thing.
But sometimes that which is sacred
holds little pleasure:
sitting with my son’s
raging, witnessing the wounds
of a friend, walking through
a spiritual shift. These joints
tearing and stretching
and becoming more
open to the point of almost
breaking. I feel ancient
with it as I swell and sway
my back on all fours,
seeking some ease.
Os sacrum.
Holy bone.
Protecting, holding
a space set apart.
An offering.

Hone

Skull slams my glasses, the bridge
of my nose screams and tears erupt.
This child barrels through his days,
cranium a cannon shot propelled across
the room. Parenting is a contact sport, full
of all that salt water of sweat, tears, gore
and brokenness. He exposes my weak
spots, seems to be programmed to hone
in on them, pointing out just where I need
to care a little more kindly for myself, the places
I’m tender, sensitive, bruised and wounded.

Child’s Pose

I stretch face down, my nose
pressed into the pile
of the carpet, lungs dusted
with the remnants of early
summer wind storms; no matter
the amount of sweeping, the aroma
is dry and dust. A rust-clay
stain and the places the two-year
old has expressed his newfound
skill at directing his pee,
the marker ink tracking
race car lanes in a loose s-curve,
the crumb of pizza crust, dried
tomato sauce like so much pollen
fringing the edge, the almost
ivory llama color of this rug we chose
from the clearance rack, because of course
it wouldn’t last, and the grape-juice
purple and chocolate-ice-cream-colored
ones were not on discount. The lines
from where a butter knife gouged
miniature troughs, a curled-up bandage
from a make-believe scrape, bits
of crayon-label paper littering the corner,
scattered scraps and snatches, a fleeting
testament to the collected order
in this chaos, the fullness
of my days.

Mango

The flavor of San Francisco,
honeymooning in juice
bars and smoothie shops.
Butter luscious, smooth, and ripe
with a pepper bite, sweet
and spice kissing like

chutney. The taste
of Las Vegas, the saffron
color sorbet crowned
with blackberries, the craving
for fresh fruit flaming
from my six-months swollen

stomach. Season of waiting, baby
in me ripe and almost ready, when
I found mangoes at a discount and greedy
filled my bags, only to break
out angry in rash round
my eyes, lips, and hands.

My two sons feast on the fresh
fruit as I carefully slice a slip
from the stone, pass it to a small
palm and summer wafts
warm in my nostrils. This
is the best thing I’ve ever tasted.