Every Friday, two poems
exchange homes. I get one
from Decatur, Georgia, and
Decatur gets one from me.
My email box tings, and there it is,
like ice cream, like cold sheets,
like a baby clapping her hands.
Tonight, I do not know what to write,
how to pick. Should I tell her about
sitting around the table with the fourth grade
team this morning, the blue post-it notes,
the blush rising from words of praise?
Or Tommy and John racing
toe to toe, neck to neck,
in the third grade Fun Run?
Maybe, I could try to describe
the maternal feeling I had
when Katie told me about Google camp.
How, even though she is not my child,
something expansive in me aches with pride.
Or, I could try to explain the sound of field day,
the lilting of three hundred fifty voices
outside my window, though, honestly,
there is no way to describe a sound so sweet.
It would be like trying to describe
the smell of spring air. Some goodness
needs no metaphor, suffers when words are used.
Maybe I could pen something about my niece, Sarah,
who does not know how beautiful she is.
How I hope, when she looks back at herself
years from now, she will see what we see.
I could write about my new quilt,
how I will put it over new sheets,
a smoke signal sent out for a new love.
Or, I could tell her about the first summer
fire pit, four of us talking and laughing,
Cullen stoking the flames,
the steady glow of warmth, of light,
filling the circle. Or the embers now.
How they burn and burn, like this day
which, in its fullness, is not ready to end.