Tag Archives: windows

She’s Rearranged Her Room

She’s rearranged her room
and proudly invites her father
to admire the work.

It makes up most of her world
on this summer afternoon —
careful placement of
well-worn friends,
books for reading
in the pillowed corner,
a place she has reserved for
hide-and-seek
just behind the bed.

If you lie right there
you can reach the fan, she tells him.

Turn it on, she says —
it smells just like the outside.

Her father looks out the window
as he turns the switch,
the ancient glass curving the view
across the lawn.

It really does, he replies,
tasting in that breath,
just for a moment at
the back of his throat,
the back of his memory,

his own childhood
rearranged room,
just-so and steady.

Last Light

I know the first hints of leaves
are the lightest green.

Yet they appear black
against the wisps of clouds
and a sky growing pale
just before darkening.

He comments on them
looking up from his bed,
and asks to leave the curtains open.

It sure is nice light, I reply
and stroke his hair.
His stillness is perfect
even as he turns his head
for me to brush his other cheek.

A father and son will argue sometimes —

but the morning and its disappointment
are forgotten
in the last light
of this day.

Ten

Her ears glowed bright red
when she returned home,
newly pierced earrings
gracing either side of her
bright eyes and shy smile.

I wished that we had taken her picture
in the morning,
but we hadn’t planned
for this to be the day —
just gone ahead when she asked,
following through on a months’ old promise.

As I watched her through the kitchen window
my wife told me about how
brave she had been.
We reminisced about that cold winter
when we had walked her back and forth
between her bedroom and ours,
soothing her newborn tears.

She came inside to tell me
she had seen the first snow drops,
or at least their green shoots
peeking through the icy leftovers
of the latest storm.

That’s where I’m going to build my fairy house,
she told me.

She ducked back outside
and leaned against the post on the porch,
filling an old seashell with greenery,
her legs outstretched
in the pale sun and
whispering quietly to herself,
perhaps about the moment,
or maybe about
all of her ten years.

(A found companion piece to Almost Eight)

A Long-Forgotten Toy

Outside a robin hops
from a crusted snow pile
to the matted spring grass.

I stand at the window and watch,
while the echo of quiet play
mixed with soft humming
drifts out of the nearby bedroom
and into the hallway,

coming from a son
who is supposed
to be getting dressed —
but who has found absorption
in a long-forgotten toy.

I wish I could move
to see him,
but I don’t dare
stir the light
or sound the floorboards.

My body is warmed by the sun

before a shouted question
from downstairs intrudes
and the moment drains away.

Exhalation

I have been holding my breath again,
not leaving you much choice
but to wait.

This has always been my first response
when frightened —
but you learned this years ago.

I feel
your yearning
to speak
after the children have been tucked in
(we wouldn’t be interrupted)
and as the tea kettle births
steam onto the darkened window;

your abiding
in the deep quiet
(so ripe)
that hours later
envelopes us in our bed.

But exhalation
gives life to fear —
merely scratching out a poem,
lightly and in pencil,
would risk too much.

So you bear the silence for us,
even as our skin touches,
the cold back of your thigh
reminding me
you are there,
giving me everything
just by lying still,
waiting for me to breathe.

A Winter’s Vacation

A long day apart
followed by another
will make these tender ones remote —

but late at night
passing an upstairs window
and caught by the moon
as it mingles with the dim street lamp,

I will pause,

and notice the overlapping snowshoe paths
behind the house,
evidence of our time together.
 

A Small Book of Poems without a Shelf

Clutter has built up
around the edges of the room.

Facing the altar,
I can not see it,
but the gravity
of its accumulation
pulls me backward
toward the west window.

It isn’t much –
an iron, a board,
and hangers from the morning;
my daughter’s cloth cuttings
spilling from a box she has
decorated in tissue paper;
a small book of poems
without a shelf;

remnants awaiting
places to fit
just so.