Rough Draft No. 1 - Mother's Day

A couple of years ago, I'd gotten in the habit of going to Starbucks daily (sometimes even twice - What?!). After awhile, I decided to assuage some of my guilt by doing something productive with the time I spent there, so I challenged myself to write a poem each time I waited for my drink to be made. Sometimes I only ended up with a line or two, sometimes I came away with a nearly-finished piece. Either way, it was fulfilling and (as often happens when I commit to doing something creative daily) it made me increasingly observant and productive. 

After leaving my job in mid-September to become a stay-at-home mom, my Starbucks budget basically evaporated and with it, my prolific poem-generation. So a couple of months ago, as my younger son and I were waiting in the car for older brother to get out of school, it occurred to me that I could make waiting-for-school-to-get-out my new poem creation time. And I've decided to further challenge myself by posting these rough drafts here. I'm hopeful that this process will inspire me to keep writing and thinking and honing, and that it may inspire some of you to do whatever you do for creative expression. 

Just a reminder that these are ROUGH DRAFTS. They are not finished, polished pieces, though I hope that I will eventually post the final versions as I complete them. Also, I am creating all of these posts from my phone, so the formatting will almost certainly be awry. This drives the perfectionist in me CRAZY, but I've decided to stop letting her stand in the way of actually doing things. So without further ado...

Mother's Day

The sudden-sharp growl of thunder

shook the house 

and before it had pealed itself out

I was padding down the hall,

knowing one would cry out

(and he did)

and one would stumble from bed

(and he did).


I like this about motherhood:

the knowing.

Knowing when to ask about his day 

and expect an answer,

knowing when tantrum

is really just code for lonely,

gauging moods like wind.


I don't know much.

I don't know string theory,

or how to grow a tomato,

and I can't remember 

the quadratic equation,

but I do know

how this one likes his oatmeal

and how that one

likes to be alone only when he's angry.


And I like the knowing of them,

the knowing that,

on days like this —

  skies clouded pewter

  and rain pelting ground —

there is nothing they want more

than to burrow under wool blanket

with their soft jumble of plush friends

while I read 

and they breathe me