True story, y’all…

My mom and I were having a funny conversation a couple of weeks ago, talking about how stubbornness runs in the family. Like, both families. My dad’s and my mom’s. And so I come by my stubbornness honestly, and I told her that. I added that out of the three of us, I thought I was probably the least stubborn, and my dad was the most. She said she’s much less stubborn than me. I told her she’s absolutely more stubborn than I am. (Though we both seemed to agree that my dad is the most stubborn of all of us, so there’s that, I suppose.)

This (good-natured) back and forth went on for a little while, and then Graham (poor Graham), came upstairs to make a cup of coffee. So of course, I asked him to settle the matter and declare which of us – my mom or me – was the least stubborn.

“Your mom,” he said. “You’re so much more stubborn than your mom.”

She burst out laughing. I objected. The conversation eventually moved on.

And then I sat down today to write a poem for the blog. I wasn’t even thinking of the stubbornness conversation. Honestly, I was sitting in my chair looking outside at the sunshine and the cardinals in the yard, happy as a clam.

But, well, this is what I wrote:

Please, by all means,
tell me I can’t.
There is no better way
on the face of this planet
to ensure that
not only can I,
I will.

Y’all, I think Graham may have been right…

A Poem for Meg

“What lovely flowers,”
I say,
and what I mean is:
“I see how much work it took
to create this blissful space.
It’s something I could never do,
at least,
not without significant difficulty.
I appreciate the beautiful things
you’ve planted and nurtured.
I can see the love in your heart,
because you’ve poured it
into these little pink sunbursts,
and all of the others around us, too.
I’m grateful for this time with you
in your garden.”
But that’s a mouthful
and a half,
and we’ve got limited time
this visit.
So what I say is simply,
“What lovely flowers.”
And I trust that you’ll get the message.

I Have My Mother’s (A Belated Mother’s Day Poem)

I have my mother’s eyes.
I have her temper, too,
and her stubborn streak.
(Just ask my dad.)
I have her joy in reading –
not from inheritance, but habit –
and, I hope, also, her kindness.
My mother taught me to laugh,
and grace and patience.
And she gave me part of herself:
years of time,
of being together,
of lessons,
of hugs and of presents,
and of watching her wild child grow.
She gave a million little moments
to build me up.
I have my mother’s heart,
a lifetime’s worth of love,
the greatest treasure.
And she has mine.

More (A Poem)

This we know
deep down
in our bones and blood.
Even buried under our worst moments,
tucked into the corners
of our own lives,
we know it:
We are made for more
than work
and worry.

Memories of School Picture Day(s) (A Poem)

“Smile,” they said,
and I did,
crooked.
“Your eyes are closed.”
Unsurprising.
“We’ll try again,” they offered,
which was kind
all things considered,
especially the line that day.
What can I say?
I’ve never been what they call
photogenic.
I’m good with it.
I hear a picture’s worth a thousand words,
and well,
pictures of me
will certainly
get you talking.

The Garden Path (A Poem)

There’s something magic,

isn’t there,

about a garden path in spring?

Always worth the following,

I think,

if only to see where it leads.

Or even just the slant of the light

along the way,

just right to make

the everyday

extraordinary,

and the ordinary

enchanting.

Ode to Beer (A Poem for National Beer Day)

Did you know there’s a National Beer Day? I didn’t, but I do now. And yes, of course I’m celebrating. Here’s a silly poem to prove it.

For you, O Mighty Brew,
libation of
fierce warriors
and
humble monks
alike,
we celebrate this day.

Quencher, and friend,
foe, and consoler,
partner in pleasure,
in sadness,
and (sometimes, perhaps) in crime
(we won’t speak of that now…),
you are a time in yourself,
a moment of fizzy bliss,
of foamy joy.

You, Oh Ancient Potion,
are powerful, potable,
volatile magic.
You make us brave
(but foolish).
You make us wise
(for a while).

To you, I tip my hat.
And then drop it.
Thanks for that.