a blog of connotation

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-Sara

A Little Snot

Honestly, I can understand
why he picks his nose.
I know there are nasty things up there.
Nasty, hardened things
made from mucus and dirt.
Boogers are just the body’s way
of protecting our lungs.
They are hidden things
our noses make.
Unless we sneeze
too hard, they remain mysterious to others.
A sneeze is unpredictable,
but he knows his boogers.

“Use a tissue” I tell him,
or, if I’m too late to give that advice,
I say, “Go wash your hands.”
“Germs,” I say, “are gross.”
He looks at his finger. He looks at me.
Boogers are things his nose makes,
nuisance disguised in texture, stuck to his skin.

But he wants to taste them,
to put them back inside his body,
to digest them. “Boogers are not burgers,”
I say, but he does not know how to spell,
and since the two words sound alike,
he licks his booger off his finger and
I roll my eyes.

Though Some Think It’s All For Hallmark

Hugs and kisses
are not enough, but
people give them.
Pouring coffee for the woman
you love is nice, but–

My day started second in the house,
only to a whispered giggle saying,
“Tee hee hee. I’m hungry mom.”
Hopeful fingers poking my face, tangled in my hair. A mother’s
eyes are always tired in the morning. Still, we are
rushed for breakfast. We fumble through the kitchen
searching for clean plates long before sunrise.

Days happen through moments. Laughter. Tears. Cries. Challenges and victories.
A mother is a woman with children. A woman is a person among people.
Yet hear the cries of others. I know mothers who have lost. I know women who wait.

My Day

5:24 a.m. The alarm goes off. It is my husband’s alarm; he is the one who has someplace to be. I, on the other hand, rarely have to be anywhere except within earshot of my children. Right now, my children are quiet. They are sleeping angels in their own beds, so with every tiny noise that is made I jump a little and await the waking of small bodies. My husband showers, dresses, pours a travel mug of coffee, gets his lunch together, and leaves the house. Just like that.

5:45 a.m. I lie in my bed and look at my phone. But why? I have searched for an answer, and what rings in my head is not the sound of someone trying to reach me, but my own silent yearning for communication. My phone rarely provides communication anymore. Instead, it provides false entertainment and small heartbreaks. What I see when I look at my phone is that everyone else is having a beautiful day and I am cleaning up spills and trying to formulate meals in the midst of constant movement. I cannot reach my friends. Neither can I be reached by them. Yet somehow knowing what others are doing makes me feel as though my adult relationships have not faded. I try to place myself in their world, but I often end up as The Monkey in the Middle, reaching for something that I cannot, or should not have right now.

5:55 a.m. I hear the thumping sound of feet and a giggle or two. I know these are the joyous sounds of life so I smile and I cower all at once. I am incapable, yet the only one able to do the work of this day.

1:13 p.m. I sit on my couch with my laptop and my phone trying to recall moments from my day. I walked outside with my barefoot children. They climbed trees. We made pancakes. We all went to the bathroom. We fed the dog. We all went to the bathroom again. We cleaned goo from a basin in the bathroom cabinet. One child bled. One child tried desperately to communicate with me, but mostly just whined. I tell myself this is not my day. Then I hear it from my Father, “No. This is the day I have made.”

Today, I applied someone else’s band aid. I gave commands to prevent the squishing of an infant. I cleaned the crevices of six human ears. Herein lies something that cannot be made but that has already been made for us:

I cannot make beauty. But I can live in it.

Tiny

I had forgotten about tiny legs
folded up like a frog, a tiny spine
curved and rested.

I had forgotten about a tiny stomach,
tiny arms tucked as for bedtime prayers,
tiny eyes that search such new surround.

A stare so frightening looks at me, aware
of closeness, full of wonder, uncertain.
I had forgotten. I am much the same.

Tiny hands clutch at anything within reach.
Tiny heart restful in expectation.
Tiny in our knowledge, we grip each other.