#53

i am sorry for dying - 
the way the orchid petal limps and clings - 
refusing to drop.
i found all the merchandise a heartbreak - 
the way i said i love you with a boxful 
and ribbon -
as if even a portion of my reverence
could be contained.
when time steals you away from me - 
because you are growing
and learning to love things outside of Us - 
i wonder at having had once
my own dreams - 
before i cared more about an elusive collective
and following your youth
 into the night.

#50

We drive in traffic 
at night
to see papa - who
at almost 93 years old -
is the first to call you toots.
Irv's a good kid
says his grandson -
the other calls him homey.
A Haagan Daz enthusiast,
he drinks hot coffee 
from a red Solo keg cup
and holds his own 
against top ranked players
at daily Bridge.
We will dip a chip in guacamole
share a hunk of cheese
and build a future we worry losing. 
Time makes everything delicious and awful.
We love him like banana pancakes.
(Written by Larry Ben Jonas and Danielle Salk in car on whim. )

#48

i am thinking about dads today
and how my own died way to young -
and how so much of who i have become
was because of this man -
that, in some ways, i barely knew.
but i knew him.
i know your dad died early too, and yours.
and how hard it is for all of us
to look at our boys, our sons, our nephews
and think - 
they will never get to meet him, or - 
god, my dad would love you.
i am proud.
to have had a dad. to have, 
through marriage and love
helped make one. to understand
the delicate fabric
that holds our men together -
that shapes our boys.
I feel dangerously too close sometimes -
to the essence of things -
how i catch a glimpse of my child
walking passed in a man's body.
he carry's my father's death with him, you know
and lends him another life.

#22

my child is poet
though he hates to be called one.
says every mom 
thinks their kid is a genius.
meanwhile, he's writing lines
that strip flesh from bone -
about his 92 year old grandfather -
about honor
about home.
i see that words are just a tool for him
like a baseball mitt
or a pencil
or food.
maybe he is on to something - 
this ambivalence towards words. 
skips magic pebbles across the pond 
while i dig around in the dark
looking for the perfect stone.

#17

there was a time 
when all i could think of
was how to be more in love with you.
then all that loving 
made others things to love -
so many in fact,
that all i could think of 
was how to be more of myself somehow.
now i am just thinking about
how to be enough -
and kind.
and also how it is possible
to want something so bad,
with everything that you are, 
and not get it.
and still know that somehow
it is enough
to just be enough
and kind.

#13

sometimes i am afraid
that my children will die 
or i will leave them motherless
or the wrong person will become President.
i worry that if any of these things happen 
someone or everyone will be unsafe.
Armageddon will happen
or maybe god will break forever.
when i am struggling
with the entire universe
and trying to control outcomes
way outside my league
the space inside me filled with love
starts to sink
until a bottom falls out
and there is only worry
going down
and down 
and down.
if i am lucky
i will love my children today and 
take good care of my own little self
and i will pray for my country
and even for god.

#12

If i had another life
i would choose this one - 
all messy and ridiculous
with the clutter of bones and bills and love.
i would walk head-on 
into the magical mayhem
of my teenagers' angst 
and the moods of marriage -
all the time watching my life unravel
in both anguish and awe.
No one would save me
and i would not dawn a cape
or make a brilliant name for myself
but i would have you
quietly snoring next to me,
and everything that our laying together made
would be brimming over
always seeming to bang at the door
at every door
almost unbearable
the fullness
the constancy
the living
of this mad and wonderful life.