We talk across the salad,
share ideas with the vegetable brochette,
smile at the beautifully grilled asparagus,
remember with the rosemary potatoes.
I look at you,
amazed at who you are becoming,
remembering all your faces
that changed from year to year.
Though I long to hold you now
as once I could,
I know you’ve grown beyond my arms,
my touch upon your cheek,
as the light reflected on the water
changes outside our window
even as we watch, together.
A sad thought, but a small one
as we sing
while sharing greens.

More Mother's Poems


You say goodbye,
smile proudly
as they stand there, so tall
with backpack, camera,
and you hand over a sandwich
or a fresh red peach,
and a lucky penny,
wishing, Godspeed.
You can’t go with them,
hold their hands as they cross
whatever street they must
to school, or train, or plane—
or ocean, or midnight sky.
You can only watch,
feeling your heart beat fast,
still warmed from that last hug,
as they walk away,
looking smaller to you
as they grow
to full size on their own.
You swallow tears.
arms already feeling empty,
and try to smile,
for they might look back
for reassurance,
or to wave excitement
as their newest adventure begins.
At last you turn,
go back inside
to whatever house you call home,
make yourself coffee or tea,
and plan your own journey,
for destinations unforseen.

A Mother's Poem

What you face,
you do not face alone,
for I believe in you.
What you fear
cannot harm you,
because I will reach out my hand,
gently touch the place
that hurts.
What you desire
you will enjoy,
for I know your heart
beats with love,
a blazing light
to melt the coldest ice,
what is most dark.
The new world you seek,
you will find,
for I know your courage;
you will not be overcome,
if you only believe
in your own radiant power.
So I am with you
even in the darkest hours,
yet true.
Reach out your hand,
and my touch
will warm you,
our fingers link
to make the strongest golden chain.


You don’t need angel wings

Angel wings are too frail
for the sturdy business of life.
They can’t fly through storms,
get soaked with tears,
or surge with power
when an updraft opens a shaft
to freedom.
You’ll need stronger stuff
to make your wings
glide with many feathers,
light enough to lift,
shimmering with sunlight,
yet tough with muscle, sinew,
blood that beats in time with song.
Grow your own wings,
billowing with colors more vivid
than translucent crowns and haloes.
Angel wings make good costumes,
but their glitter is only glued on—
They don’t sparkle with dreams.


The mother knows
what the child can’t understand,
till she too has a child
and fathoms at last
the ocean of a parent’s love.
No crime, no lie
is more than the smallest boat
on such a swelling tide,
though in the darkness
of the hold below,
the sky may seem
a starless night
and all confined
to lonliness.
The parents wait.
Days turn to years.
Then years to a day,
to a moment only,
for when the child returns,
she brings such joy
the mother cannot hold it all
but spills love out,
so flowers bloom
and fruits grow sweet and ripe
and the earth turns green
with warm rains that grow the crops,
fill the harvest silos full
when the prodigal returns.



Good Enough

I’m not perfect, you know
nor even try to be anymore.
I say the wrong thing to you,
at the wrong time,
make mistakes galore.
But that’s the way it is.
So I say to myself,
you just have to try your best
and that is enough.
In fact, trying to be
good ‘enough’
will never be
Being good—
that’s enough
right there.
Because what you aim for
can never define
what you achieve.

King Lear

Ripeness is all, says Edgar,
but so far our timing
has been off,
with dissonant chords
lost opportunities,
the right word at the wrong time,
the wrong words
most of the times.
How to find the point of matching
when two openings align?
As soon ask the stars
the secret of their constellations!
But somehow, the heart
must know
that ripe moment,
when it can call to the other heart,
and make simultaneous beats
into a rhythm of love.




We buy ladybugs to set them free
because it’s sad, you say,
to see them so confined,
though they don’t seem to mind
their plastic world—
it’s got branches, grass,
holes at the top for air,
and they can see just dandy
through the clear and curving sides.
But it’s sad, you say, to see them
from outside, looking in,
fluttering their wings,
crawling up and down
the round, enclosing sides.
So we take them to the roses,
open the lid,
but still they linger,
refuse to come outside.
One at a time,
on a gentle finger,
you lead them out
and show them
what a growing leaf feels like,
and suddenly, from somewhere, they remember,
smell the damp earth,
see the sunset’s golden light,
feel the evening breeze stir
the true air.
They don’t fly right away,
we notice.
Some fall,
or walk on unsteady legs
but not a single one
looks back
to go inside.


From a corner of your life
spider-like, I spin a
web of dreams for you.
Or, like a silk worm,
a cocoon softer than a dream,
warmer than wishes,
to lay over you,
I weave a rainbow coverlet,
sparkling with dew drop gems,
edged with coral sunrise.
All this, my dear one,
to bring peace into your sleep,
healing hidden wounds,
building cell upon cell,
growing new muscle,
rounding angles,
making curves,
filling hollows and empty places
with strong, new flesh.
So would I hold you
in lightest wool,
since my arms are not
what you want to feel.
All this I would do,
from my small shadowed corner
in your life.



Do you remember
the story of the umbrella,
and the girl
who loved to hear the rain
make music,
Bompollo bompollo,
as she splashed along beneath it.
She hoped for rainy days
to play this music,
and she could hear it echo
even in sunshine.
Listen to the music
play in your heart--
bompollo, bompollo--
feel those moments
when we read together
at night
the book between us,
wrapped in the soft quilt,
warm even in the rain.

As they get older

As they get older,
we shrink,
become ordinary,
even annoying, thinking back to
how wonderful it was
to be a hero fighting dragons,
unlocking doors to treasure.
Now we watch in amazement
as they grow beyond our memories
—all those changing faces—
till they become like friendly strangers
who remember oddest things
in the tapestry of the past we share.
How hard to keep a sure hold
on who we have become
since they set out on their journeys,
discovered distant lands
we will never see.
Like cordial ambassadors,
we greet each other with affection,
looking curiously
at souvenirs,
the mysteries we acknowledge
but cannot share.
Too much lies beyond
our keenest perception
for anything more than
politest conversation.


Just One Thing

If I had the chance
to say just one thing,
I’d say
Just hold you in my arms
till you felt all the love
you deserve just by being
seep into your bones
and grow the muscle
to stand tall and lift the world.



Someone is holding me,
arms around me,
soft breath in my hair,
hand on my hand.
And I am holding someone,
silky hair on my cheek,
soft breathing
on my chest,
my arms full,
and the great wheel of stars
turns around me,
rocks me to music of chimes
as I round myself
around one I love,
safe in the arms
of one who loves me


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