Daily April poem: valley
Daily April poem: ottava rima

Daily April poem: declarative sentences capped with a question


Our son stands in the doorway in bear pyjamas.
A soft blue teddy peeks from under his arm.
His cheeks are scaly with the night's dried snot.
He clambers into our bed and squirms onto my pillow.
This smile, sweet as strawberries, is just for me.

He cups my face with his grubby palm.
I brush his hair back from his forehead.
Small feet probe my ribs, testing boundaries.
Soon he is poking my mouth, covering my eyes.
Deep breath: I roll to sitting, I enfold in my robe.

We pad down the stairs holding hands.
Unzip the blanket sleeper, yank the nighttime diaper.
Our struggle for dominance evokes the Nature Channel.
I manage to aim his feet into sweatpants and socks.
I yield and relinquish my hopes of a clean shirt.

Finally I reach the Promised Land.
The refrigerator hums its quiet song.
Clean pots weigh down the dish drainer.
I stand in the middle of the floor, waiting.
Does a watched coffee pot refuse to boil?



Sunday's NaPoWriMo prompt invited us to write poems in which each line is a short declarative sentence, and the final line is a question. In response to that prompt, I wrote this poem on Sunday morning, sipping coffee while our son watched cartoons. I have two versions of it: one where the poem is all one long stanza, and another where the poem is broken into 5-line stanzas. I think I like this version better, but I'm still not sure.

There's a way in which this is a sequel to the Toddler House poems I was writing a while back -- and a way in which those were the next chapter of the weekly mother poems I wrote during my first year of motherhood.

I spent some of last week proofreading the digital galleys of Waiting to Unfold, due out from Phoenicia Publishing in a few weeks. I'm so grateful now to have those poems -- and to have a publisher who's excited about bringing them into the world. Anyway: stay tuned for more intel on that collection!