Like Water

Lace tentacles curl
from a winter rooftop,
and gone tomorrow,
are you willing
to let everything go?

Will you be buoyant,
helium snow beneath
our skis that fly? Will
you be love? Will you
sink? Oh, to submerge

in the abundance
of water, to be wet with
the extravagance of it,
to stand under
an open sky, palms

upturned, as illusion
rains into vast rivers,
flows past your borders
to the sea. Are you
fluid enough to know

what you are
capable of?  Particles
of an exhale
on cold glass,
your fingers trace

the foggy window,
write your initials, your letters
of love, a fading mark
against the sky, see
finally, yourself.

Drop Off

Two boys
lean against

the brick wall
by the entrance

to the school.
He says,

Goodbye for now!

and runs to join them,
leans just like

they do,
boys,

observing
the opening

world. The yellow sun
flashes round

his ruffled
silhouette,

still flavored with
the sleep of morning –

and my eyes,
they cannot see

if he looks
little still,

or almost
grown.

We Like to Call it Love

My body
is breaking, slow
like a frozen

waterfall,
and it’s all right.
I feel it

in my knees,
like the cherry trees
which certainly

are growing,
and also
dying. They still

bloom pink
each spring,
dripping

their wet pollen
onto the noses
of bees. We 

were made
for a grand
coming together,

you and me
and the trees
and all the little things,

and also we
were made for
naught. And isn’t it

a sweet relief
that both
can be?

Old Woman

Remind me to get off on
being an old woman,
to love this husk

of body even as
it peels away
from all that is left

of me. Tell me,
in no uncertain terms,
to celebrate 

the letting go, the falling
away and the eventual
discarding. Please read

to me a poem
about love
when soft shapes

and colors
are all that are left
of my vision,

and pink sunrise walks
have receded to dreams.
Remind me

about freedom,
and of the great,
dark mystery

that I spent
a lifetime trying
to understand.

For You

I want to bake you cupcakes
with sprinkles. I want to
write you poetry and read
you books like my parents
did. I want to smell your hair
for too long and kiss you
and put cream on your rashes
and band aids on your thumbs.
I want to brush your hair
and fold your clothes and sew
your stuffed animals. I want
to sing to you every night
and watch you dance and run
after a soccer ball and fly
down a mountain. I want to
hear the best part of your day
and also the worst. Every day.
I want to cut off your crusts,
and I want to make you eat your
vegetables. I want to let you
have dessert before dinner
sometimes and sleep in my bed
sometimes. I want to come to you
in the night when you call
and tuck your blankets up under
your chin and fill your water glasses
and hear your dreams. I want to watch
cartoons with you and listen
to your stories and jump with you
on the trampoline. I want
to make you smoothies with fresh
peaches and strawberries, and teach
you how to love guacamole
and artichokes. I want to give you
hot chocolate in the morning
and sit with you by the fire. I want
to help you with your homework and
help you manage your tempers
without losing mine. I want to
take you on an airplane and on
a road trip and stay home to watch
deer eat the grass on the lawn.
I want to help you find your way
when your way needs help finding.
I want to do all of these things for as long
as you want for me to do them and then,
with grace, I want to know how to let you go.