20 April 2017

What are you doing in there?

Is it a dance recital
Or are you practicing a martial art?

What is it like to live
Entirely upside down, feet in my ribs?

Do you really get to taste
A little of every thing I eat?

Can you hear my singing
Over the rush of blood through the placenta?

Are those hiccups hurting you
When you have them for over a minute?

Do you dream in color
Or are there only soundscapes and emotions?

11 April 2017

Bronchitis While Pregnant

Breathing and not breathing,
Stuffy but clear enough,
Inside bigger than the outside.

Brain foggy from lack of oxygen getting in.
Or is it lack of iron to move it around?
Same difference, to the bloodstream.

Is that chest tightness
The swelling from the microbes
Or the baby pushing the diaphragm?

Cough out all the mucous (and air),
Then try not breathe too deeply or too fast while refilling the lungs
Lest the coughing start up all over again.

Drink more water, and tea.
Yes, even more than before,
So be ready for twice as many bathroom visits.

Have a snack.
It's been over an hour since the last one, after all.
Maybe something warm to help soothe the throat.

Relax, but not too much.
The wrong angle makes it worse:
The coughing, the back pain, the tight-yet-loosening tendons.

Rest, but don't sit still too long.
Gotta stretch all those shifting joints and muscles
Or there will be no unassisted movement later.

Sleep, but only in short increments.
There's too much coughing and peeing and stretching
To manage a nap of meaningful length.

To conclude:
Try to remember that
The discomfort is temporary.

I feel yucky today, but I still wanted to at least attempt some poetry. So, poetry about feeling yucky is what you get. That's life sometimes.

06 April 2017

Farm to Cup

Walking The Farm

I make an early rise to check on the trees, inherited from father four years ago.
The rains were heavy early in the year, a good sign.
The last trees father chose should be ready for their first harvest.
His influence still covers the hillside, encouraging and intimidating me.
The workers will be arriving soon, ready to pick the bright red fruit.
Many of them knew father, mourned with us.
I wonder if they have confidence in my abilities or worry as much about the future as I do.
Then comes a few weeks of stirring, rotating, and hoping for strong sun,
until the batches are the perfect parchment.
Father had a knack for knowing when it was time.
He'd get out of bed one morning and announce,
"Ready the hulling machines."
As a child, I loved to help with the manual sorting.
I think father liked giving me a small task near so many adults,
even if my work needed checking over.
Now, my favorite part is the sisal bags stacked up and ready to go.
It feels like an end to the hard part,
but in some ways the planning between seasons is the most difficult.
That's when I wish I could still ask for father's advice.


Nose, roast, crack, rest.
Nose, slurp, repeat.
100 tastes a day
To find the perfect blend.
Every seed has a story
Of rainfall, sun, and wind.
The attitude and altitude
Of the farmer and the land
Influence the flavors
Of the beans in my hands.
Floral, chocolate, toasty,
Tangy, acidic, sweet.

Conversation of Questions
How are you doing?
What can I get ya?
Big or small?
Extra shot?
Room for cream?
Anything else?
Here or to go?
Do you have a punch card?
Need a reciept?

Cup of Clouds

Swirling clouds of cream push to the bottom,
Half settling and half mixing,
A visual for the science behind density and solutions.

Rippled edges like afternoon tide pools.
Little peaks of color fighting to find equilibrium
Between layers of mahogany, burlap, and fresh cut pine.

Take a sip or give it a spin
To see more blending, more gradations.
Until it's all one,
Or all gone.

There are a steps left out, but four poems felt like enough for a series.

05 April 2017


Two striped shirts walk into the coffee house
one white and navy, one black and white and tweedy
It's so cute in here! (Their first visit)
Loud voices, bright and happy
Friendly, unpushy sales (after ordering coffee)
Like approachable cheerleaders
Saying y'all
More casual than business, but still professional
Friends and colleagues
Easy laughter and a short sing along
Swirling sugar and cream
Sharing a little brightness on a rainy day

Palate is a local coffee house that I love visiting, and they're actually a non-profit.

04 April 2017


One time, she tripped my boyfriend with her oxygen cord.
She was playful like that,
Even using her misfortune to bring joy.
And she wasn't short on misfortune,
Especially as a child,
But she still managed to find good in the bad.
Her faith helped with that,
A faith she pieced together and struggled with over the years,
Making it stronger and more genuinely held than most I've seen.
She was pretty strong in her convictions overall,
Giving careful thought and time to making a decision
And then sticking with it.
Stubbornness is this way seems to be a family trait,
Or maybe she just trained us that way by example.
She set a pretty good example in most things, I think.
I'm grateful I got to live with her a while,
Even it was a result of the same event that gave her that oxygen cord.

The NaPoWriMo.net prompt April 3 was to write an elegy centered on a little known fact or something quirky about the person. Nothing came to me yesterday, but this morning, that first line popped up. The rest kinda came tumbling after.

02 April 2017

Growing Pains

Today, I have many growing pains.

My back hurts in three different places.
My chest hurts whenever I digest.
My thigh hurts if I lie on it too long.
My throat hurts from frequent heartburn.
My feet hurt if I ever stand still.
My side hurts when I sit at all.
My pelvis hurts without lots of stretching.
My head hurts if I get thirsty.

Growing a human can be uncomfortable.

21 May 2015

The Apostrophe Question

I always wonder where the apostrophe should go: inside the word or next to it.

Inside implies one mother.
Perhaps it means “motherhood’s day”
(but that didn't fit as nicely on the sign).
Maybe it means a more personal mother:
the day to remember and honor your specific mother.

But, everyone has more than one mother.
On a biological note, all mothers have mothers;
it’s mothers all the way down.

Then there are the surrogates:
teachers, friends, spiritual leaders, aunts.
Anyone that helps a person grow.

Outside makes it plural possessive.
The day of many mothers,
the day of any and all mothers,
the day of celebrating nurturing itself,
and Mother Nature itself
(another mother we all have).

These days, I wonder where I should go: inside the group or next to it.

I am between maiden and mother spiritually.
I am fairly old or still quite young,
depending on culture, time, and personal opinion.

I did not yet feel motherly or mom-like
(more like a still-developing proto-mom)
when I experienced miscarriage.

I don’t much feel like I lost a child,
more like a particular vision of the future --
a (now alternate) reality to which I’d become accustomed,
and of which I was growing quite fond.

But I wanted it,
I was preparing for it,
and I had (nearly) accepted it as part of my identity.

I’m caught between alternate versions of being.

The apostrophe and me - in or out?

The answer feels ambiguous at best.

Because I wonder about this every time I type Mother's Day, I have researched it. Officially, the apostrophe goes before the s. Here’s the brief wikipedia explanation.