Family Dinners

We’ve decided to eat like the French,

which is to say, together around a table.

We set a tablecloth. If it weren’t for the babies,

we’d light candles. If it weren’t for the babies,

this wouldn’t be a big accomplishment.

If it weren’t for the babies, tradition

would not be so important.

Avoiding 18 Year Olds

I cross the street when I see a college student.

I have a hard time with youth,

even though I still have one hand caught

in their experiences. In cafes, on the bus,

I carry earplugs. Their dreams,

their talk about first entering work

make static in my chest. There is

not enough room for their disappointments

or their enthusiasms in my many-self

I have grown within me.

The Good, The Hard, The Daily

I sit down to write a poem

and find nothing waiting

to be voiced. There is

the liquid purple sunrise

that lingers for me to wake

now that it is fall. And there are

the two sleeping babies

I have just left, one chattering

into the bars of her crib.

There is the tight flutter

in my chest I can’t name.

But all these things are

already being appreciated.

There is a couple waiting

at the crosswalk, who turn

one after the other to point

at the brilliance of the new day.

The faces of the skyscrapers

are glowing gold, for everyone,

even the ones who might prefer to be

heading the other way, home.

We all know the pattern.