On her own steam

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On the day we learned about the college admissions scandal, my daughter was accepted into a selective business school that she found (on her own) and applied for (on her own) and will transfer to next fall. She shared this with us via text, as if it weren’t skype-worthy (it was). I couldn’t possibly overstate my pride in her and am dedicating this post to Makena.

 

You know how you can’t take your eyes off your newborn . . . how every breath and noise and smell and feel are cliff-hanging you for the next moment? The crescendo of her baby cries or laughter . . . the plot-thickening with her new words and discoveries (and hair color changes) . . . the incredulous day of departure that was kindergarten, summer camp, graduation . . . and is now adulthood.

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It’s been like that for me for 22 years now, although the cliffhangers have become more hair-raising: six months backpacking across the UK within a month of high school graduation, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail for six months, trekking around Iceland for six weeks, and the next adventure: working on an elephant preserve in Thailand this summer.

 

In the midst of all that, she has stayed on the honor roll, always kept a part-time job (including being an R.A. in her dorm), and survived some horrific experiences including discovering a suicide on her hall. Her MIH (Make It Happen) Factor is so off-the-charts that my fears for her safety are mostly eclipsed by her track-record.

 

She is one of the most capable human beings I know, and I remain in a constant state of awe.

All I can think to say at this point is YOU ARE WELCOME, WORLD!!!

CU bound

And the Women Said

“And the Women Said” by Kelly Grace Thomas | Rattle: Poetry
http://www.rattle.com/wp-content/themes/reddle/js/html5.js

Kelly Grace Thomas

AND THE WOMEN SAID

And the women said watch as men call us lottery tickets
watch as they cash register us into gamble into played
out combinations of sweaty bills and pocket want
watch as they lick their lips for that better life
watch as they pout, when we don’t pay out.
When the bling of our breasts don’t make them
Cheshire cat the same. When we got our own debts
that gotta be paid, to mirrors, to mammas, to the way our hearts
traffic light in the closet after we sold ourselves
whole.
And the women said feel the way we became campfire
how we ghost storied into this dangerous beauty.
How them men can’t scrub out our smoke, how our blue learned
to burn slow, standstill like the moment between beggin and maybe.
Feel the way we soil into shovel, how we let ourselves be held even
after a matchbox tongue misspoke of our flames, even after we told flint,
you don’t live here no more. The women said feel how we are not open
fields waiting for their strike. They cannot not bury us
deep, call us things of war and be surprised
when we land mine.

from Rattle #51, Spring 2016
Tribute to Feminist Poets
2017 Neil Postman Award Winner

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oh what a world

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My daughter celebrated her 20th birthday by marching on Washington DC with tens of thousands of other women. It was an intense kind of joining, and a peaceful event . . . the sort of thing that happens when women are in charge.

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I have no hope for this country under the new administration, but I am full of hope for what women can do to influence our future. Just looking at my girl makes me feel that way.

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the salt in the water

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I am swaying back and forth over the steam . . . praying to the God of salt in boiling water who keeps the eggshell from cracking.

Today I awakened in a country of unconscionable choice. Deep in the dirt of my DNA there is some Pompeii of knowing what life will be like now. I know what we must do, if we can.

My friends and I text a roll call to see who is standing and how. Nessie wants walking but I’m not sure anything’s got legs anymore, certainly not the popular vote.

Andrew called from Ireland to remind me of my daughter’s heart. I make of list of happinesses: Elise got engaged. Brianna’s little Oliver is a week old now. Cybelle got that job at Western. Mail just dropped through the slot in the box just like any old day. The feeling of my son’s earlobes and the center of his forehead. Gregorian Chants. Bagpipes. To be on the last part of the last chapter and know I’ll make my deadline. The expensive lotion from Taylor. The mermaid stone from Jane. The bird candle from Suzanne, and the birds in Jill’s office. The birds in the airport. Yesterday’s lunch to celebrate my daughter’s first vote in a presidential election that included a woman’s name on the ticket. Here’s to those eggs, and here’s to celebrating before they were broken. And if I bake bread or write thank you notes or make soup, then oxygen will start to flow through this bag of bones again.

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Outside my kitchen window, there is a geesyness of sky and November’s leaf music. The sun still rose over a world that has seen far worse, I tell myself.

I place the three eggs in the pan. I add more salt to the water, less to the wound.

© L. Seaver 11/9/16

the last thing She sees

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Of the field and fall

from grace we yield

the summer-sated grasses

and the golden-hour lasses . . .

Letting go the season

has come to pass

What wouldn’t I
do to spare you?

The Earth drops her gown

from green to gold to ground

but the last thing She’ll see

is blue . . . remembering

a world She once knew

. . . all the women do.

© LGS 9/14


(Bolstered by my writerly colleagues at http://www.lakeeffectwritersguild.com, I post this for my girl, and for all us girls)

of the Moon

Nightbird at Blood Moon

Last night, Kit and I went to the Full Moon Drumming, which was particularly wonderful during this, the Blood Moon. There was a big turnout. Instruments of all kinds were spread out on the ground for any newbies (like us) to borrow—fully engaged participation is the unspoken expectation. Interspersed were various art supplies that had presumably been used to put up promotional posters about the event, at least that’s what we figured the markers, scissors, etc., were beside the tambourines and maracas. Yet there was a tin can, fly swatter, knitting needles, and a knife sharpener, so who could be sure?

I’m not a musician but I can keep a beat, at least I thought I could. Then the tattooed guys with pony tails started beating rhythms out of the congas, snares, steel pans and African drums that were powerful and primal. Everything I tried to sync to that skewed highchair-baby-with-spoon. As soon as the first session winded down, I switched to cow bell and spent the next session trying to keep Will Farrell/SNL images out of my mind.

Maybe the fourth or fifth “drum conversation” in, I was finally getting the hang of it. I had settled at last on the triangle because…well, I just didn’t think you could mess up on the triangle. It always sounds nice. After a while, Kit gave me a look that inferred otherwise.

“Play something different,” she hissed.
“This is the only song I know on the triangle,” I replied.
“No, I mean a different instrument…anything…like a skein of yarn.”

She looked around desperately then handed me a glitter-glue stick, but I just tuned her out.

4/2014