First Born – Navigating the Landscape

Today, my second baby turns five.  She is happy and sparkling with dimples aglow.  Though one thing is missing to make her birthday complete.  Her big sister.  My thoughts are constant in their effort to hold on to those sweet moments of closeness we get to share with them when they are five. 

I encourage any poets out there to post your own family poems in the comments.  I’d love to see how family inspires your thoughts.

First Born – Navigating the Landscape

there is no place to hide
in the desert
sun hits your face full on
for the world to see

heavy hearted rocks I would bury
were it not for dirt like stone
under my calloused running feet
too hard to dig, too hot to sit

what I want to remember
is not dry expanses of wasteland
between us, tumbleweeds blowing
not a mirage in sight

what I want
are the green patches of picnic
under the stars with strawberries
your favorite when you were two

for these not to just be my memories
somehow, if only 
you could find an old lunchbox
with a note from me inside

a gentle tide of a better me
a soothing calm lapping over you each day,
not the one you remember, raging dust storms followed by
cold angry silences; you howling at the moon

search your keepsake box for the one who left a bunny note
in your fourth grade lunch
and asked you to hold her hand forever
even when you grew up 

I am there somewhere, everywhere
I am still here
still trying to figure out how to make it rain
in the desert

hardest to admit, the sunburned mistakes of youth that are true
heat and cactus thorns are not what distance us
but the forest and lakeside beach, grass, and fireflies
they know us, and they’re a witness to our forever love

so much to say my baby grown
a tiny poem cannot hold
nor the desert floor filled with tears of ancient icy snows
come out little words, swim around her now and keep her afloat


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