Tag: napowrimo

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Karen Phillips - The One that I Love

I have a mother. She’s over there
In Iowa, playing Tetris.
I have three sisters, they are
Always available to me, on the phone
To laugh and retell stories. One of them
Did enough work, herself, to
Find her way all the way back from
“Who are you?” via “Who am I?”
To “Who cares? I love you anyway!” and
Because of that, we are sister-friends.

I have good girl friends, all over
The world.
Some I found in
Grad school, some on the floor of
A restaurant, on a porch swing,
In a pub.
There are those I am still
Excavating from the wreckage of
My college cyclone. Three
Revisit me all the way from the
Faraway land of Catholic school,
And seem to love me best.

One friend is Karen. She came with the
Wedding, free of charge. Insisted my hips
Will shimmy that way,
Come the day I let it all go.
She doesn’t ask me to change myself, or
Order me around; just to say,

Come in. Here’s the love. Here’s my arms–
I’ll hold you and you may lean in here,
No judgment. You are doing
Fine. Rest. Put your head down,
Sister, daughter, mother, friend.
I have got you. We are the
Same, no less, no better
And when you want to take up
The mantle again, you will be able to
Do it because all of us are here to hold you up
Say yes, you can. Know it because
You are me.

You are us.


Two men say: I love you
With turkey. They do it at
At least twice a year,
Once at my husband’s
Table, with me at the store
Choosing all the groceries, the
Parsnips off season,
The magical ginger root
To dress an everyday carrot. Pushing
The cart through the refrigerated aisles
I catch myself cruising a thought:
Someday wouldn’t it be nice to
Make my mom’s mom’s mother’s
Dressing recipe — which has more
Sausage less bread than Henry’s — but then I
Don’t, I wouldn’t because
This daylong ritual of trussing and
Chopping and ram jetting
And then, just so, while whisking,
Timing out the sides, is
Colin’s way of telling
His Dad: I watch. I learn.
I notice. I love.

Before JD left, last time, to go back
To Kansas City, he and Colin
Agreed that moving the laundry
From the basement to its new
(Though not finished) room
On the 2nd floor, was the most
Important last and final chore
To complete before the
Two men who love me most
My dear friend and my husband
Parted ways for another
Four months. I hear the rocket engine
Squeal now of the washer drum spinning–
Hard at work
Reminding me a good deal of
The world’s sweetness is
Positively mundane.