I’ve always been drawn to “moment poems.” They don’t have to be particularly profound or astute, as long as there’s enough rich language to bring me to the moment too. Even the word “moment” is alluring to me. The other day I had a rare moment of tranquility, where the only thing I needed to do was just be present, while my daughter slept. The peace of it wasn’t lost on me, and I tried to capture it here.
She’s fallen asleep in the car
not the gradual kind
but a crash into sleep
where one minute it’s protesting from the back
about the tightness of the seatbelt
and next she is silent
still, a tiny smile on her lips.
We can’t bear to move her,
know the shift and heft from seat
into our arms, no matter how gingerly
will rouse her, fast and unwilling.
He takes her sister inside
and I offer to stay, though I have no book
and don’t want the blare of the radio.
It’s starting to get hot now, the cusp of summer
and I crack open my door to let in the air.
I hear our tenant magpies
from their clever garage-roof vantage.
They always have so much to say.
I envy their passion for debate.
A neighbour, unseen but I’d guess two-houses down
is mowing a lawn, the buzz of the motor
becomes a comfortable constant.
I recline my seat, careful not to bump her legs
getting so much longer now
as they dangle behind me, one white shoe,
with hearts, hanging just from her toes.
I will shut my eyes too
can’t sleep, really, like this
but meditate or at least savour a moment
A clatter from behind the car
when brittle leaves,
carcasses of fall, catch a breeze,
and scrape together across the
concrete. There is a pause, then a bolder blowing
that frightens them away under steps
and into grassy corners.
She’s a guardian wind, I think
protective of our quiet here
together. I keep my eyes closed,
do not stir
when she slips into the car
and whispers a lullaby
meant only for the two of us.