an ordinary day

Thanks to the Daily Challenge for the invitation to share this writing:

AN ORDINARY DAY

For ten days I lived the learning curve
of diabetes, partnering with my beloved son
to help his through maternal leave,
given the grace of time to relish
each extraordinary moment.

The first hour’s sing-song babbling
lifts from crib to giggled hugs and undercover
hide-and-seek en route to the day’s first blood glucose test
followed by calculations of insulin and carbs,
breakfast planned to even out
the hours to come.

This child, so gentle and joyful of spirit
accepts each poked finger and prodded thigh
with grace, a lesson I cannot fail to notice sets
the warp of our day through which we weave
our patterned way, each hour
a new adventure.

From Grandma’s blocks we build
to hold what he loved at the aquarium –
octopus by the elevator climbing glass walls,
his giant purple sac blowing up bigger then smaller
carefully reconstructed through his two-year
old imprint, giant tank within winding
ramp, sea lions sunning beyond.

He recalls with pride how he placed his hand
in the pool where flat rays swam shallow circles
requiring him to dip, lean and shriek with surprise
when the flappy gray surface floated beneath
outstretched fingers, feeling like velvet
fleet and brief, tickling his hand
again and again.

We chant the trains that took us there —
‘one train, two train, three train, blue train’
and back – ‘one train, two train, red train, bed train’
to test, insulin, lunch and rest. Later, we’ll
relive the adventure with Brio trains,
tunnels and bridges arcing us
back to the present.

Past supper the day’s reduced
to favorite books, moonlight and song
stories lingering among the family
of bears lining his crib, a round
of Dona Nobis Pacem circling
him in love’s embrace.

How the layers unfold like
an origami crane in flight; then settle
back to nest, each hour building bridges
between love and need, grace wrapping
itself around this wondrous gift
of an ordinary winter day.
swb ©2017

learning

Today’s Discover WP prompt is a most persuasive invitation to share an experience of learning that has stuck with us.

The year was 1984. Following a casual beach walk in deep February, I found myself the proud owner of a major fixer-upper village colonial house on a hill. The walk was when my friend offered to provide a downpayment if I would live in and improve the house. Sweat equity would be my contribution. After three years we would split the proceeds of its sale. Meanwhile, we would split major repairs. I would do everything but plumb, wire or roof. And believe me, that left QUITE a lot of room within out agreement to keep me busy.

I would return from work, strip to my work clothes and get to work. The demolition was fun – ripping off gold-stippled mirror tiles from the living room wall; ripping up indescribably grody green carpet the dog repeatedly mistook for grass; opening the wall between kitchen and dining room; removing three layers of utterly damaged ceiling; ripping off fake wallboard and trim over lovely, oversized windows to discover their hacked-off plinths (which I later found a mill to replicate). In short, a lot of removing and revealing that finally led to restoring and revitalizing. Continue reading

generations

mer 14 coverThe Mom Egg Review issue on “Change” is now out. At least one reader has this to say about the collection:

 “..(H)ere I am, having read every word in a 3-day Mom Egg marathon.  It is a wonderful book, impressive in the scope and depth and honesty of the work presented. The poetry is particularly strong and leaves one feeling richer knowing that there are a lot of people out there who sift and ponder and construct meaning as they drive to work and fold the sheets and feed the kids. There is beauty in tending life, and you have managed to capture it and present it to the world.”–Patrice Boyer Claeys

I am honored to have a poem of mine included in this themed edition. The journal publishes writing by mothers, and if anything spells “MOTHER” it is the ability to adapt and change. Which is what makes this issue so interesting – seeing the many, many ways ‘change’ is interpreted, understood and represented through the mother filter.

As a further example of change, the poem as accepted (below) has already undergone several significant changes and may appear elsewhere in altered form, even under changed title. Thus is the nature of mothering, and the recording of same.

GENERATIONS

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Unabashedly abundant, new growth clematis
spills across the river-side railing, sprouts
up through decking cracks, climbs and twists
tight tendrils about trellis and feeder, purple
flags aflutter effusively eclipsing

worn-to-shreds strips of sturdy old vine
holding steady yet, weathered
from years of climbing, carrying on
the singular task of stringing sturdy structures
to root offshoots in the rich soil of home.

This intertwined tangle my dream of family
extended: roots sunk and shoots sprung
from the richness within, weathered fore-vines
supporting the new finding their own way
out, up and ahead.

swb

 

‘change’ issue of MER

mer 14 cover

“Happy Breastfish” by Sally Deskins

Dear Friends,

I’m excited to let you know that my work is being featured in the latest issue of Mom Egg Review.

Mom Egg Review Vol. 14 “Change” is a unique literary collection about motherhood focusing on change. It contains short fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction by the best mother writers from around the world, and by others, writing about motherhood as it intersects with change, global and local.

You can read more about MER and find additional features, book reviews, interviews, submissions info and more here.

The issue launches this April, but copies are available now. As a contributor, I can invite friends and family to purchase copies at a discounted MER Community rate of $15 (cover price is $18). Click here for more info or if you would like order a copy for yourself or as a gift.

All the best,
Sarah

PS There will be a launch reading in New York City on Sunday April 24. I look forward to meeting other contributors to this issue and to sharing my work aloud. Be sure to let me know if you will attend so I can say hello and thank-you!

misty memories

Status

I did not cry at my son’s wedding. The rain and Maine mist had me covered. And yet, the memories, misty as things become in the blur of emotion and layers, remain firm and strong.

The way they look at each other is enough to make anyone believe in love. The years they spent in discernment of their path, separately and together, is enough to make anyone believe in faith. The joy and rightness in the air over the weekend was palpable enough to make anyone simply believe.

We created a movie featuring video clips of him learning to walk and play piano, running cross-country, delivering a valedictory speech; and including photos with friends and family at home, in the mountains, at the ocean. For background music (when he wasn’t playing) we used ‘Beautiful Boy’ by John Lennon. [The corresponding slide show by her parents was set to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely.’ Tell you something about these two?!!!]

As the two newly-weds spend the week on a Maine island, we return to the misty shore of Massachusetts, wet with rain, storm and yes, not a few tears. But they are tears of such joy and appreciation for the many gifts of heart that a weekend with all our wonderful families uniquely offers. Misty memories, all.