Friday, July 31, 2009


As the moon rose last night
I stood with three other women
in a field that is becoming a garden.

The choice each day of where to be-
hollyhocks bend like lucky fishing poles
& my daughter sings to the cabbage.
Ready for your next life, you curl
and slow inside me-the heat shifts
to cool nights, to palest skies.

Friday, July 24, 2009


As you find language, I learn the depths
of your memory. Tortillas in the shopping cart
are renamed ‘moon;’ the fencepost where I tied
the dog months ago and gave him water while you
played on the swings- today, leaving the park,
you point and say ‘Seeley water.’ Your joy

comes sudden, as does frustration. One minute
you are me, and I understand each inch of you…
the next you are someone I may never, completely
know. “Mama, train coming,” you tell me
solemnly, although there’s been no train in the valley
for weeks. Still we walk out to check the tracks.

You end the day stained with raspberries, blond
hair wisped in all directions, new scratches
on your knees – your exact weight and smell
as I carry your against me toward your bed
is something I have carried all my life.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I name my daughters for green mountain
lakes, for great aunts in golden oval

photographs, for the months they are born
into – the strange tension of one season losing

itself in another. With these names I stitch
them into the world- tie their feet to the soft

forest floor of this valley, their fine hair
to wisps of white around the Mission mountains
at first light.

Today I drove against
the paved heat of highway 83

as it hugs the edge of Salmon Lake, the glint
of water only feet away, no guardrail, and I

remembered the brother of a boy I once loved
who, one night before leaving for college, drove

his car straight into the green. He was disoriented
by the dark and the absence of other traffic,

by the reflection of his own lights that he mistook
for an oncoming car. I think that it is easy

to lose your way traveling so close
to so much water. I come back

to these lakes each summer,
drive the dusty July roads, pine pollen mixed

with ancient glacial sediment now rising
into the still air behind me.

My second daughter will be born
in a few weeks- I feel her restlessness

through my skin- it is such a small moment,
that instant of being born, that waits for her.

She is just beyond clear, the light at the end
of the day, indistinguishable if it comes from below
or above the surface.
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