Friends, I am so proud and humbled to have been part of the cast of Listen To Your Mother Providence at the Providence (RI) Public Library, on Saturday, May 4, 2013.“and this is only rehearsal”
How strangeto stack up my storiesside by side the wordsof women unlike meyet like,their stories not mine,yet mine--How wonderful to wraptheir words around my words,struggles alongside mine,another mother’s hopesand fearstwined round my heart--They call that an a-ha,that momentof profoundyet simple recognition--yeah I get that,it’s like that for me, too--I won’t soon forget.
What you don’t realize is that you really need to hear the stories of all of these women. So I am telling you. Because these stories will affect you, even change you.
Imagine all of this times 24 cities across the country, and baby, I feel like I was part of a social movement.
Please, please click to watch the performances of all of my sister-readers. YOU MUST. Be sure to have your box of tissues handy. Peace, lovely readers. And thank you.
Kirsten Di Chiappari, The Truth
Brianne DeRosa, Normal
Laura Rossi, Mother’s Day
Jennifer Ciplet, Sunny Side Up
Phyllis Myung, What Took You So Long
Lexi “Sweatpants” Magnusson, I’m Jealous Of You
Lauren Jordan, Pink Butterflies
Alicia Kamm, Baby V
Stephanie S. Lazenby, Nobody Ever Told Me
Carla Molina, Perfect
Kelly Baraf, Tea Party
Jackie Hennessey, The Horrors of Shopping With Kids
(The text of the poems I read is below. The first poem is from my upcoming book, SUPERPOWERS or: More Poems About Flying, and the other two are in my first book, Responsive Pleading.)
after NewtownIn talking aboutthe end of the worldand human civilizationby tidal wave or solar flare,my young son whisperskids are too young to dieas my heart simultaneouslywilts and blooms.I reply, yes, far too youngand brush his hair backfrom a pretty foreheadclean of bullet holes,stifle a moan by swallowing.One heartbeat later,my child bemoans those humans--the ones he thinkswill finally realizethe planet is overheatingjust about the timehis own children are grown--and describes his childwiping her own sweaty browas future apologists cryWhat have we done?
bed-hopping (not that kind)When you wake up squishedon the too-short loveseat,entangled in warm limbsand breathing in the breathof your bright little girl,
you manage to peer throughsleep-filled eyes to witnessyour long-limbed sonsplayed and snoringon top of this drowsy daddy.
You recall the night before,one in your bed at one,the other in with you at two,At four? Mama, I’m so sorry,I wet your bed, Mama.
As you throw the sheetsin the washing machineand the kid in the shower,you know for sureyou’ve hit the jackpot.
basic human needsSleeping, dreaming, drowsing,awakened,predictably,by one, then two,little bodies in my bedwith their little voices,cold limbs, and big needs.
They snuggle in,then drift back to sleep.
Mama is awake at three ay em,starting to count sheep,
when a cozy little girl voicesays in her sleep, I love you, Mama.Mama replies, I love you, Baby.
Then the drifting, sleeping voice says,
My butt isn’t getting any blankets.