Friday, June 22, 2007

Still Can't Write a Poem

"Are you going to write a poem about him?" asked one of the fifth grade students 8 months ago, when I suddenly became a mother. It was quite shocking for all of us. One week I was wacky, distracted Ms. Kilgore, the writing teacher with a soft spot for poetry. The next week, I was insanely distracted, confused Ms. Kilgore, the writing teacher and now Mom who replied, "Of course I will write a poem about him!"

With the exception of the "biku" on the main page of this blog I composed at a Bike Winter poetry reading back in March, I have not followed through on this promise.

I want to write a poem about Miguel. I want to write about him in a way that doesn't duplicate the baby books that disclaimingly tell you what to expect at certain times.

I had thought all our letters to Miguel's birth parents were incredibly rich and illuminating:

"News Flash!! This month, Miguel started tracking objects with his eyes." Never having spent any time with babies, every change was press release-worthy to me.

Looking back, I feel I could have just said, "Please consult page so and so of such and such book." Despite some problems with torticollis, he seems to be meandering through the developmental milestones like most babies.

So how do I capture Miguel instead of "8 month old?"

I want to write that poem, but I can't. Maybe it's because I can't even clean the kitchen, or finish a book, or water the sad basil hanging from our sun-baked 3rd floor porch.

Perhaps it's still too soon, the earth too moist. I learned the hard way that you are not supposed to dig in the soil after a hard spring rain. Maybe I just need to let it be, wait for the drying out period, before I can bloom the dearest parts of his personality on my words.


Jessica said...


here's one I wrote after Miguel was born, but didn't think was ready to send you. But, what the hell.

perfect change

There are leaves blowing from trees;
Wind tossing scraps of paper
There is one day and the next day and
Winter approaching.

One day is much like the day before
One day slides beneath the next,
One day, a front rolls in
And doesn’t recede.

Call the wind. It might sweep
from the sky: babies, lightning, love

Nana Fish said...

Here is mine...

Job is finished
Waiting begins
Frantic phone calls
Delight and pride
We have been chosen
He is on the way
Friends surround
Shower love and care
When to go
Miguel has arrived
Much to do
Need Chicago shoes
Long train ride
Hearts filled
No one sleeps

Ginny is home
Waiting for me
She is the Mommy
What will I be
Got to go now
Wait for us please
Chicken to cook
Floors to sweep
Tears to cry
Baby comes home
Joyful day
New family of three

Jessica said...

Oh Charly -- I just saw your poem and it made me cry! xoxo