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

Love Works – A Senryu

Two rough reddened hands

Wash plates, clothes, floors and faces

Work softened by love

The senryu is for Patrick’s Pic and A Word Challenge #195 – Work. And yes, those dishes are a real example of the work I do as a stay at home mom (don’t ask about the chunky, frothy bits – I don’t know what they are either).

Patrick’s words about the “beauty of the moment taking work out of the job” really resonated with me. Being a stay at home mom, I’ve sometimes have to work really hard to find these moments!

I know I have many poems here about mothering – some funny and some serious but all coming from a place of love. The work involved with being a parent really needs that love – not love as reimbursement from our children and partners, but love as a no strings attached gift to our children and partners. I think about that when I am on my 5th basket of laundry (we are a family of 6!) or loading the dishwasher for the third time in a day. I don’t love the chores/work but I love the people. And there are days when they show their love for me by pairing the socks.

©️ iido 2019

A Spice of Life – A Poem

Vanilla
White Bread
This life
I dread
Boring
This thread
What if
Instead

Cleaning?
Decline
Laundry?
Malign
Housewife?
Resign!
What next?
Get mine

Chocolate
In bed
Handcuffs
In red
My legs
Wide spread
Honey
Give head

Wake up!
Real time
My life
Is fine
Spicy?
Benign
Love it?
With wine!

This poem was prompted by Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #193 – Spicy. This cheeky poem popped into my head as I cuddled my sick 4 year old this week.

Having a sick child is probably one of the things I hate most about being a parent. Not only do I feel helpless that I can’t make the fever/pain/nausea/etc go away, but besides giving meds and cuddles, there is often times little else that I can do to make my child better. Plus, sick kids are usually whiny and needy – this is one of the worst combinations for me. As much as I try to be soothing and compassionate, I really don’t like clingy kids who are prone to vomiting.

But, I do cuddle and bring water and take temperatures and let them eat in front of the tv when they are sick. I clean up their mess and wipe their snot with tissues or my shirt. I have my masters degree and snot, sweat and spit up all over my clothes.

That’s why I had to laugh when I saw the statue pictured above at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC this weekend. The artist was probably not a mother. This statue is living a “spicy” life – carefree, happy, unencumbered by worries such as sick kids or what are we having for dinner. She isn’t even wearing Spanx!

So while I will probably never frolick in a meadow holding my child with one arm while we gaze at a bunch of grapes (or maybe those are flowers?), my kids do keep me on my toes and keep my life from getting boring (although definitely not in the way it says in my poem. I have my honey for that! 😉).

©️ iido 2019

Lola’s Magic – A Ghazal

When Lola* arrives, it’s hard to deny there’s magic
The children happily sigh, “She’s magic!”

My tween can whisper secrets in her ear
Lola – my spy who can pry – hush magic!

My sweet girl’s dollies all need a cuddle
Lola’s arms wide like the sky – hug magic

Train engineer boy with curious spark
Lola answers all the why’s – smart magic

The toddler is whining, “No” is his word
Lola sweet talks – he complies – bribe magic!

Then quiet, they gather around her chair
Lola gives sweets on the sly – bad magic!

Homemade dinner, there’s so much to clean up
Lola’s sink is spotless, dry – clean magic

I’m exhausted, drained, this job is so hard
Lola’s shoulder, allows me to cry – mom magic

My first attempt at the ghazal poetry form was inspired by Jamie’s Wednesday Writing Prompt to write about someone I admire. According to Gay Reiser Cannon at d’Verse, who introduced the components of the ghazal for their challenge, the ghazal’s narrator “is always a hero longing for the unattainable”. I hope my longing for the unattainable “motherhood” is evident here. Please feel free to comment on this form/content, etc. – all feedback is welcome!

* Lola is Filipino/Tagalog for Grandmother. This poem is dedicated to my mom, my children’s Lola. She really has the magic touch with my kids (along with my dad). They simply adore her! In fact, my youngest has declared Lola his best friend. This makes my heart so happy!

I know I can never reach the level of sacrifice that my mom has, but I can try to be the best mom to my kids as I can be. In the meantime, my mom has already surpassed motherhood goals and is approaching the pinnacle of grandmother-hood!

©️ iido 2019

Quiet Run – A Double Nonet

Crash boom ba dum ba dum ba dum boom

Drum practice or brothers wrestling?

Vroom vroom whee-ooo whee-ooo waah!

It’s mine! I got it first!

Stop annoying me!

Sister slams door

I tie shoes

Bye Hun

I

Run

Away

Quietly

Footsteps shushing

Faster to capture

The scent of mowed, mulched lawn

The feel of sunset’s soft breath

The taste of silent sanity

Glistening saltily on my cheek

This double nonet incorporates Patrick’s Pic and a Word Weekly Challenge #189 – Quiet and also Jamie’s Wednesday Writing Prompt to write about any sport that engages me.

I have never been a “sporty” person – I was usually one of the last people picked for teams and I was definitely the last person to finish the mile run in high school (collapsing at the end just to prove how unsporty I was!). I didn’t even know my high school had a football team until I started dating one of the players. And I only learned about the rules of the game when I started watching football in college.

My first foray into sports was running which I discovered in my early 30’s. I figured if I could walk, then I could run since putting one foot in front of the other didn’t seem to require that much coordination or other athletic ability. Yeah, right. Still, I was smitten by the race medals and the opportunity to have some “quiet me time” when I ran. As my family can attest – I am a much nicer person after a run!

©️ iido 2019

A Moment Caught – A Lai Nouveau

I think I’ve caught you
Little boy, aged 2
Hide seek
Like a bird, you flew
Behind that tree – Shhhhhh…
Quick sneak
Pretend “Where are you?
I cannot see through!”

Like that tree, you grew
My mind thinks, “Adieu!”
It’s bleak
When you hid, I knew
How quick the years queue
Don’t peek
Little boy, aged 2
I think I’ve caught you

I am so thrilled that Hélène Vaillant has resumed her “What Do You See?” Photo Prompt Series. The pictures she chooses usually have a whimsical side and this one above is no exception!

This poem responds to D’Verse and Frank Hubeny’s call to try the Lai Nouveau a variation of the Lai. I’ve also incorporated Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #186 – Caught – this prompt could have gone in so many directions but the combination with Hélène’s picture sealed the deal!

This picture brings me back to the innocence of children, especially those kids who have not yet mastered object permanence. Magical thinking is a large part of these toddler years. As a parent, I still employ this type of thinking to try to stop time and prolong these captured moments.

©️ iido 2019

Letting Go: A Steep Learning Curve – A Quadrille

The steep facade never phased

Your brave eyes, upward, gazed

Climbing with such sure feet

Never thinking what if, defeat

Yet steeped in my fantasy

My baby is all that I see

Letting go hurts my heart

For I know, this is just the start

Mish at dVerse provided the prompt “steep” for Monday Quadrille #72. I didn’t realize how versatile this word can be! I am not such a fan of steep heights but my daughter (and her friends) are. Ah, youth! Or as a mom, I say, “wah, youth!” 😩😭😭.

©️ iido 2019

Moonlight Sonata: Quasi Una Fantasia – A Poem

(For your ears: Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven)

Sitting at the instrument

Of lament and longing

Listening to the moonlight

Touch my eyelids

Willing for this to be fantasy

For you to hear the harmony

Of safety and love

Bookmarking this time and place

So our stardust can, one night, embrace again

This poem is a companion to the Quadrille written for Hélène Vaillant’s and Jamie Dedes’ prompts for this past week. It’s a beautiful gift when inspiration strikes twice.

This secondary title of this poem, Quasi Una Fantasia, means “almost a fantasy” and comes from this essay on Beethoven’s famous Moonlight Sonata. I do not listen to a lot of classical music, however this piece I am familiar with since I shed many tears listening to the First Movement after my twins died. That phrase, “almost a fantasy” describes the surreal feelings and thoughts I experienced after I got home from the hospital without my babies in my arms. It also describes the “what if’s”, “if only’s”, and “I should have’s” of the grief experience, as well as the hope that eventually leads to healing.

©️ iido 2018