Monday, August 29, 2011

The Dogs

I have geriatric dogs. A chart I found online this week says they’ve breezed past adulthood right into the geriatric stage, and I have to admit—the word “geriatric” made me giggle a bit at first. It conjured nursing homes and bed pans, not my feisty little pups.

But then I cleaned up Abner’s fourth pile of shit this week, watched him sleep through Gavin’s screams of delight during playtime (Abner’s gone almost completely deaf), and listened to Daisy yelp when her leg cramped after lying down too long, and realized they’re not pups anymore. And rarely are they feisty. My dogs ARE geriatric. All of a sudden they’re nearing the finish when so many things are just beginning in our lives.

They were our babies before we had babies. They were there for the beginning of our marriage, our first house, our first “real” jobs, our first child.  I just hope we get a few more firsts with them, even if they are geriatric.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Childhood Poem

Do you remember the Cam Jansen book series about a little girl who solved crimes with her photographic memory?  She'd blink her eyes and take "pictures" of things she wanted to remember.  I read her stories as a girl and remember wishing I had a photographic memory, and making a point to soak in the things I wanted to keep—the sound of my mom singing on a Sunday morning at church, the smell of my dad's cologne when he dropped me off after one of his weekends. 

I think that's part of the reason most of my poems are memories.  It may also be why I ended up in Memory Keeping at Hallmark.

I thought it would be appropriate for the first poem I post to be a memory poem.  So, here’s a poem about transitioning from child to adult.

Peninsula at Raintree Lake

I ran away with Black Beauty
to a pine-tree-lined isle
behind my father’s house,
my back against a pine’s trunk. 
Needles stuck through my jeans
and sap glued pages together,
but it was my sanctuary.

I took engagement pictures
between those pines years later—
we leaned against their sturdy trunks,
smiled into our future,
and they shaded a welcome
for our marriage.

I heard they drooped with disease
a year ago and were cut down.
I haven’t returned to see
their remaining stumps surrounded
by weeds and dead needles.
I prefer to imagine them tall,
and me, secure in their shaded shelter.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Only the Beginning

So, I’m finally doing it. Starting a blog. I’ve percolated on the idea for a while now, but always made excuses. It’s a lot of upkeep. If I start, I’ll have to continue. I have too many other things going on, etc. But here I am anyway—ready to keep a record of my life, my family’s life and the world around me. 

If I’m going to do this, let’s set a few ground rules:
  •  I will post consistently. This rule may bend occasionally. Or often. Perhaps this shouldn’t be a rule at all. I’ll just amend to “I will TRY to post consistently.”
  • I will post a poem I wrote once a month (hence the name of the blog).  Some will be highly revised pieces I’ve sweated blood over, and others will be brand-spanking new.  Either way, I’d love your feedback if I’m ever going to get them published.
  •  I will be honest, and write in a way that comes across as “me.” This means I will occasionally cuss. Probably often, really.  Maybe I overuse the word “occasionally.”

Okay, then.  Let’s do this thing!