Saturday, April 23, 2005

Poem of the Day: A Geeky Mom original


Children's drawing of a Christmas tree, the bottom
boughs of the pine curve perfectly, and beyond
the tree, the white house, the tiny window facing

always a light in it, reddish from the thin curtains.
My hands dip into the sink, the warm water. Once
I told my father I wanted to be a professional football

player. Later, I imagined myself carrying a briefcase rushing
across a street-the perfect haircut-slightly late
for an important meeting. Where is the story

I told to myself as walked through the yard? I have narrated
myself into a corner, deleting what no longer seems true. Neither
the football player nor the executive exist when I look

out the window, watch a squirrel dart across
the roof of the house, leap to the pine; I wonder
why can't I do that? It is something else,

before anyone asked for definitions. When I rinse the dishes,
placing them neatly into the rack to dry, what
keeps me from leaving them, from standing
under the pine to look up its length or from running down the road

until the house is small behind me, from rewriting
what I insist is finished? Somewhere
my childhood spirit still wanders, drinks in the smell

of rotting leaves, climbs trees and presses her palms
together, sticky with sap. I have let her go,
kept from her the chore of washing dishes

and now she will not come back. I might never find her.
But sometimes when I walk home, kicking the leaves,
I imagine myself as seven and trudging from school,
dictating to no one, the story of my life.