Dearly Departed – A Reverse Nonet

I hold my friend’s quivering shoulders

Her arms hug this poor surrogate

For a vibrant, cherished soul

Who departed too soon

Our sobbing subsides

No words for Death’s

Kidnapping

Except

Why?

This reverse nonet was written for Patrick’s Pic and Word Challenge #208 – Departure and Punam’s Saturday Ragtag Daily Prompt – Hug.

My friend lost her two year old daughter to a rare form for liver cancer two weeks ago. Her daughter would have turned three on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, this year. This poem is for her.

©️ iido 2019

Patient Anticipation – A Poem

I’m waiting for you

To put on your clothes

You can’t decide between

Dogs on your shirt or stripes

The clock ticks

I’m waiting for you

To brush your teeth

So I can have my turn

You spit not in the sink

The clock ticks

I’m waiting for you

To eat your breakfast

While I’m packing a lunch

I know you won’t eat either

The clock ticks

I am waiting for you

To tie you shoe

The bunny ears are too big

But you say you can do it

The clock ticks – we’re late for school

I’m waiting for you

To come out of school

The clock ticks – the patient anticipation

Feels like the nine months

I waited

To show you the depth of my love

This poem was written for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #206 – Depth and #207 – Waiting. I am finally caught up!

I have had a lot of time to contemplate waiting – having kids gives me plenty of opportunity. I usually do try to be patient, to show them that they are “worth waiting for”.

But sometimes I am stressed because we are late or because I have to do something else that seems more urgent – and in those times, I am not patient. Sometimes I am even angry and spewing all sorts of non sensical threats and pronouncements.

And after I’ve calmed down (and we’ve arrived where we need to be or done what we need to get done), I usually end up apologizing and explaining why I was so upset. I also talk about what I could have done better and what they could have done better and encourage them to give me and their siblings feedback as well.

It’s an imperfect process and one that is often repeated in our house. Getting all of us out of the house and somewhere on time is feat we always acknowledge!

Still, if getting there on time didn’t really matter, I do try to wait for them – to practice their self-care skills (brushing, buttoning, tying, etc.), to finish the story they are telling me, to finish looking at the caterpillar crossing the sidewalk, to finish enjoying their childhood.

©️ iido 2019

OctPoWriMo Day 11 – The Growing Roar

The door opens and the roar begins

Begins as a rustle of shoes and bags

Bags of paper, projects, words, numbers

Numbers counting down to bedtime, dinner time…not yet time

Time to play and release the joy

Joy of unencumbered growing

Growing louder under the tree shadows

Shadows of night whisper but the roar continues

Continues with the clanging of plates and the chomping of teeth

Teeth that when brushed, sparkle like dreams

Dreams transform the roar to a snore

Snore is as silent as it gets.

This loop poem was written for Patrick’s Pic to Word Challenge #203 – Play and for OctPoWriMo Day 11 – Silence. Also, for the Saturday RagTag Daily Prompt – Shadows.

Silence is something that I rarely get during the day especially once the children come home. But their voices – whether laughing, singing, talking, arguing, shouting – remind that they are fully alive in their playing, working, eating even when they are disagreeing. Noise has always reminded me of life – I know this stems from growing up in a large, Filipino family. So silence was something I had to learn to be ok with, learn to love and cherish. But I know that playful noise will also be my favorite.

©️ iido 2019

OctPoWriMo Day 9: Looking Away

Sometimes, I cannot look at you
Because your adoring eyes
See what I cannot
I’d rather gaze upon a light
That – though bright – cannot see
The real me
That only brightens with a flick
Of my finger
And not when I enter the room

Sometimes, I cannot look at you
Because your eyes might hold anger
Or worse – disappointment, disgust
I cannot swipe left to get rid of
How that would make me feel
There is no X-out
Or control-alt-delete
There is only “I’m sorry”
Which doesn’t erase the memory cache

Sometimes, I cannot look at you
So I train my gaze on
What I feel I can control

Finally joining in on OctPoWriMo (6th Annual October Poetry Writing Month)! It’s Day 9 and the prompt today is hosted by Michelle, the theme is seeing/perception.

This poem came to me as I glanced at my phone thinking of a poem while ignoring my kids. Yes, it happens – probably more than it should, although I am trying to be more mindful of my electronic device usage. The kids are watching!

©️ iido 2019

What’s for Dinner? – A Metaphorical Poem

My body flops – fettuccine flat,

Limp from being over-cooked

In this marinade of

Too little thyme

Too much OregaYes

A large pinch from Rosemary’s Baby

I’m in hot water

Simmering

Waiting for the main ingredient

That chunk of meat

That should taste so good

Yet now is dead weight

The carcass of my life

Boiling over

Still, I have room for dessert

Hello! Hello! It’s been a while…I’ve been…”cooking”…the picture above is my version of Filipino Pancit Canton. My mom gave me a recipe but, like in life, I didn’t follow her directions exactly.

    I used the the noodles that were available in the (non-Asian) market by my house (since I wasn’t able to go to the Asian market – these weren’t the correct type of noodle but it tasted fine).
    I used leftover char sui (or red meat) as my kids like to call it) instead of chicken, although I did end up buying a rotisserie chicken to add for lunch the next day since we ran out of char sui.
    I used bok choy (instead of shredded cabbage) since a friend had given me a bunch from her CSA box that she didn’t know what to do this (I was surprised they even grew that around these parts!).

The improvised dish was a hit! Which was wonderful considering what a difficult week my kids and I have had. This weekend was the first time in the past few weeks where I felt I had enough time and enough head space to do some writing!

Coincidentally, this poem’s conception was parallel to Bjorn’s prompt at dVerse to write a metaphoric poem. Mr. Linky is closed but I think this poem still counts!

Here’s to a new week and being the cook instead of the meal!

©️ iido 2019

Forty-four Words are Not Enough – A Quadrille

In the nick of time

My motto, my nemesis

My days overfilled with

Kids needing

Husband wanting

Daughterly obligations

School “volunteering”

Catholic guilt

Running miles – Ha! No

Running behind – yes

Secretary, chef, driver

Driving myself crazy

Oh look something else to sign up for!

This quadrille responds to De Jackson’s (WhimsyGizmo) quadrille prompt #87 – Nick and Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt to write about my life and the things/events that make an impression on me.

Well, if you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you know my poetry and prose usually revolve around my identities as a mother and runner. This quadrille is no exception!

The school year has started for all my kids, even my preschooler is in three day PreK. Yet despite having three days “all by myself,” I find myself still running out of time, running late, running from appointment to appointment. I’ve signed up to help out at their school and at our church while training for a race, writing and keeping up with household duties. This might not be a lot for other people, but it’s a lot for me. I’ve been thinking about going back to work outside the home but where would I fit that in? That “nick” of time is not truly enough.

©️ iido 2019

Motherhood’s Constant Companion – A Poem’s

We stole down the stairs
Avoiding the creaky steps
Wedge heels in hand
I check my image in the mirror –
High waisted dark jeans to hold in the pouch
Three-quarter sleeves peasant blouse
Hiding all the upper jiggly parts

Hearing a honk, I exit the side door
I shouldn’t have been surprised that you jumped in the car with me
You weren’t even dressed
But you fit right in with the others
Crowding the car with talk of our escapes
And the reasons we decided to leave tonight

At the bar, even a few drinks didn’t convince you
That you should have stayed home tonight
Instead, you hugged me tighter
Constricting my heart
Keeping my thoughts on what I left behind

I looked at all the women who were alone at the bar
Talking candidly with friends
Accepting drinks from soon-to-be friends
Their jeans hung at their narrow hips
Their blouses baring the firmness of their inexperience

I look away, an awkward Cinderella who can’t wait for the clock to strike

Finally, heading home, pretending this was like old times
Despite the look of relief on all our faces
Knowing that we survived having you with us tonight

Oh Guilt,
Born the minute we heard our child’s first cry…
Motherhood’s Constant Companion

Back to school season has so many meanings and emotions for mothers. So Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #202 – Mothers is so apropos! The picture I have used above was taken from Patrick’s prompt as well. I had originally thought to use a picture of mine but this photo of Patrick’s tugged at me. The innocent trust that children automatically give to their mothers (and fathers) is such a great gift but at times can also feel like a burden called guilt.

This poem was inspired by a recent MNO (Moms Night Out) – it was a spontaneous evening which was good and bad. I didn’t have time to really prepare the kids for my going out and that also meant, I didn’t have time to practice my mental gymnastics to justify leaving my kids and hubby for the night. Mom guilt is a real thing!

©️ iido 2019