education · Family · life · poetry · recovery

History Lesson

Adolescence holds lessons,
I failed to absorb, the leap
into adulthood premature.

Have a son of my own now,
wish to guide him to solace,
help him to settle into a place

where the sky is prominent,
teach him to live without
walls, proud and confident

but I fear the price is too steep
that he will not manage the cost,
recognize that the legacy lives on

that he too has been thrust into
adulthood, a product of his mother’s
failure – an example poorly set.

aging · Family · Grandparenting · Humour · life · poetry

Parental Passage

Carefully we construct
security for offspring,
add luxuries to entertain,
accommodate growth
with additions, play host
to revolving-door friends.

And yet, we are graded
on performance – met
or unmet expectations –
help up against a stack
of other super parents –
silhouettes of perfection.

Still, we celebrate growing
aspirations, sprouting family,
ignore the slanders, and ease
into age with a tad of kook,
or wild inappropriateness –
all expressions of our love.

aging · life · poetry · women's issues

Young Woman, I See

Young woman, I see your pain
remember a time when I too
struggled for autonomy, purpose

Wish that I could reach across
the span of generations, mirror
the beauty that I see, release

the tangle of deception that binds
you, facilitate your potential, help
advance your journey, lift you

beyond the clutter and noise
and deliver you to freedom, but
your book has not been written

and the chapters need to unfold
as they will, and I am no deity
who sees with clarity the path

you must choose, the destiny
that calls you:  trust that life
is educational, and you bear

the resources to see your way
through, celebrate your hunger
and rejoice in your triumphs

I will watch with nostalgia
and the pride of recognition,
for your giftedness is real

your optimism a worthy tool,
and I know you will succeed;
have faith in your tomorrows

for you were born to shine
and pages of your memoir
await experience’s depths.

(Image:  digitalsynopsis.com)

aging · Family · Grandparenting · life · poetry

Babysitting

eyes wide with wonderment
fix on me, beseeching attention

rosebud lips part in genuine glee
when my coveted gaze meets hers

she tilts her peach fuzz head and
with a shrug of a shoulder expresses

a learned coyness, a treasured cuteness,
softening this old woman’s jaded edges

clumsy, chubby fingers reach, fumble,
eventually grasp their target, instinctively

raised to mouth, pink fleshy tongue
ready to explore – my aged hands

reacting, reflexes set to protect,
shelter inexperience, purity

I am awed by her perfection –
innocence flanked by innate trust

what do I have to teach this precious soul
whose joy of life, untarnished, mocks

my own brand of cynicism,  my words
painted with such bias as to destruct

not encourage the fearlessness she displays
eager arms reach for mine, seeking support

unskilled legs desperate to gain a stride
wobble, infantile toes slightly curled

she leads me to the staircase, pridefully
demonstrates how she’s learning to climb

fear fogs my appreciation, having known
the pain of many falls,  I reluctantly follow

admire her determination, the patience
it takes to build such dexterity, a resilience

I could learn from, wonder which of us
has more to offer the other, and then

she is done with the exercise, desires to
descend, has no idea how to proceed, and I

happy to oblige, guide her with the proficiency
of someone artful in the act of backing down.

 

Grandparenting

Grandmother’s Rhapsody

Tiny pink boots,
with yellow ponies
stomp on the doorstep
announcing the arrival
of a granddaughter.
Wispy blonde hair
gathered atop her head
bobs as she chatters
not stopping to say hello.

“Hello Pumpkin!” I announce
helping her out of her puffy
pink jacket, purple leggings
jumping up and down.
“My cousin’s a pumpkin, too!”
“She is indeed!”  Pumpkin two
dances up behind her, eyes
shining, also in pink, barging
ahead with hugs and a kiss.
I pull them into a group embrace
and breathe in the wonder
of their sweetness.

Dinner time is wiggles
and lighthearted scolding:
“Stay in your seat if you
want cake.”  Easily excited.
Rapturous laughter over
the silliest of things –
a word that sounds funny,
an eyebrow raised,
an involuntary snort –
such innocent glee.
My heart is full.

Afterwards, little feet
scatter, giggling as
they scramble –
the smallest one
taking a running leap
to scale our massive bed –
duck beneath my throw,
make a sorrowful effort
to hush – hiding –
as if i cannot see the
two-humped mass
beneath the blanket.

On tiptoes, I sneak
around the bed,
grasp the edge
and whisper “Boo”
as I lift the cover
to delighted squeals
and we play it again
and again, as if for
the first time, until
the smaller can no longer
contain herself and falls over,
weakened with rapture.

We cuddle, me sandwiched
in the middle, tiny legs
draped over mine,
heads leaning in.
“It’s so fun here, Grandma”
pudgy little hands touch
my cheeks, blue eyes
speaking such tenderness.
“Promise me you’ll come again.”
Then it’s time to leave,
and with mighty hugs
and mushy kisses
they are gone
and the sound of their
joy echoes in the silence
of their absence, filling
the empty spaces.
My heart smiles on.