On the sexual abuse story coming out of Penn State

Because we teach each other: The Deal, a mother poem



Teach me to startle
at the first crow's caw
echoing overhead

to bid farewell
to the bit of snow
along the driveway

to exult in wonder
every time
a schoolbus passes

in return I offer
a word for every thing
in the wide world

rules against hitting
or pouring crackers
on the carpet

a shoulder to rest
your head on, a song
at the end of the day.

I haven't written a mother poem in a while. (Sometimes I can hardly believe I wrote a whole manuscript during the first year of my son's life!)

This one arises out of the experience of parenting an almost-two-year-old. Every day I am amazed by his wonder at the world around us, his eagerness for language...and, okay, yes, also sometimes his age-appropriate temper tantrums!

He does greet schoolbuses, by the by -- I'm not making that up. Probably his longest sentence to date is "Bye, yellow school bus! All gone." It's incredibly charming.

I know he won't remember me singing his goodnight song every night, but I hope I never forget the sensation of his long tall body going still in my arms and his head lowering to my shoulder as I sing to him and dance him over to his crib.