New Year’s Eve

in 2019

Bruce learned to ski from up high

into a new life

in 2019

a drain drained our resources

and worsened our debt

in 2019

my girls adjusted again

to life’s challenges

in 2019

we were given the rare chance

to make a difference

in 2019

we traveled through the country

searching for ourselves

in 2020

we’ll make a better life

everywhere we go

November Daughters

Mythili

Freshly six, your latest
obsessions are your new Zhu Zhu
and the Tangled doll
with hair so long
I had to braid it on day one.
Just like when you were two,
you guard your possessions
as fiercely as a new mother,
holding them close to your chest
on all adventures, theirs and yours.
A year from now, what will you love most?
Will you have abandoned these items
for the latest movie character,
or have given in to your love of books,
your soon-to-be expert knowledge of words?
As I say whenever you ask me a question
that I’m not so sure of an answer to
(my response, in your eyes, a yes),
we’ll see.

Riona

With a long line,
a tiny half circle attached,
a diagonal drawn like a
ray of light across the page,
you have written the first
letter of your name. You ask
for more, and I feed them to you.
You swallow them up and
regurgitate the connected-dot i,
the perfect o, the upside-down n,
and the little a, a circle and tail.
And just as you are not quite sure
how to make the letters just right,
I am not quite sure how I am
going to stand here and watch you grow.

Isabella

Fifty-four pounds, almost half my weight,
you still ask me to carry you.
I reach around your skinny waist
and hoist you up, your arms
flailing wildly (impossible
for you to be still, even now)
as we move into your bedroom.
A kiss good night, a button on the iPod,
and you will listen to the same song tonight,
on repeat, that has played for six months.
I imagine your wedding day,
your groom picking you up in a dance.
Will you play this song, remember its waltz?
Or will I be the only one singing,
“Cantaremos alto, cantaremos bajo,”
until my heart can go neither high nor low,
but stay as neutral as your weight in my arms allows.