Come to the table hungry

Come to the table hungry,

to be filled with apple pie and grape wine

stories of great-grandparents who look on with pride

from the frames hung there on the wall.

Come to the table hungry,

thankful for hands that are able

to roll pie crust and grasp each other in grace

holding children who prefer to eat off your plate.

Come to the table hungry,

To be fed with what’s consumed by the heart

showing gratitude in action over a hot stove

to delight in the work that made it all worth it.

Come to the table hungry,

and be filled with all that you need.

The ones you love sitting shoulder to shoulder

passing on nothing short of a miracle,

like potatoes

and babies

and traditions to share.

Come to the table hungry,

to be nourished by what needs to be known.

To be thankful

in these moments we have.

Let’s sit a bit longer —

it all goes too fast.

Come to the table hungry.

Love lives here

Love lives here,

within these walls smeared with peanut butter fingerprints

and crooked frames.

I tend to this sanctuary, as maker of the home,

baking bread that wafts through the hallways like incense.

I have never been employed in a more important role;

The maker who makes the place

who makes us who we are.

I build this nest while building souls,

two jobs so entwined, they are hard to distinguish.

Love lives here,

Its presence is known — bringing rules to the house

that I hope to impose:

be patient

be kind

keep no record of wrongs

protect

trust

and persevere.

Love lives here.

Under this roof, I am planting roots

that keep us grounded.

And as my children grow and stretch tall to the sky,

they will know what nourishes them.

In a world that asks what will you make of yourself,

There is nothing small in making a home

that makes the peace of the world.

Love lives here.

It always will,

as years fade into another.

As children grow and go on their own,

they will turn by the tree where the wildflowers grow,

For what will be then has always been,

Love lives here.

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The tiptoe hours

There are some wise people

who wake in the dark

and watch the world dawn outside their windows

I am not one of these people.

Most days I greet the morning in the face of a

6-year-old above me

in a room bright for sleepy eyes

by a tap, tap, tap

and a Mama… are you awake…

Then the day takes my hand and pulls me

up, up, up

like a rag doll

Through diaper changing

and the assembly line

of peanut butter toast with honey.

A toddler parked in the curve of my hip

a warm mug cradled in the palm of my hand.

But today —

I sit

like the wise ones.

In a house as still as the country night.

Nobody awake, but myself

and the tick, tick, tick

of the wall clock

and the drip, drip, drip

of the coffee maker

and the faint purring

of an oversized

house cat.

Not even the sun

has peeked her head above covers.

And isn’t it peculiar —

How something as small as rising before the sun

does something a bit magical.

For in these tiptoe hours, I feel

light on my feet.

I am now the conductor

(rather than the caboose).

And I dance around the house

in a hush in no hurry

feeling like a fine hostess

prepared to welcome the dawn.

Oh, hello there, my wonderful friend —

There you are — Come in, come in

I have been waiting for you.

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The Leaves Live On

Out my window

through glass smudged with diminutive hand prints

Stands a congregation of trees undressing.

When the Autumn wind blows its breath of brisk air,

The trees do a wiggle, wiggle

and disrobe a leaf or two.

Down they fall slowly, taking their sweet time —

As if realizing this is their final encore.

That is, until, a 3-year-old finds them

And picks one up, thin and frail from the yellow pile

discarded like dirty clothes on the bathroom floor.

Then the leaves — they live again!

in a crown

or a wreath

or a pile to jump

And really — have they seen a better day?

From outfitting a tree

to adorning the top of a head full of curls.

Rejoice, oh leaves!

You are not being discarded;

Now you live on as the crowning jewel

in a land as beautiful and vast as the forest

in the wondrous mind of a child.

Like coffee in the afternoon

I have become such a traditionalist

That is,

So in love with the rituals that thread day into day

Like coffee in the afternoon

Or the way the morning sunlight peers into my bathroom windows

The way the cat always half-sits

on my legs in the evenings

Or the way my bed-headed baby springs to the edge of her crib after naptime:

Mama, you’re here.

I love when the world feels small.

When neighbors wave while walking dogs,

and oh look, they planted roses;

When friends are so comfortable that they put up their feet,

When a heart is so comfortable it lets down its guard.

They say it takes a long time to grow an old friend,

and perhaps the same to grow an old soul,

but nevertheless;

the older I get,

the more I delight in the little things

(that are really the biggest of things)

that perhaps even my great, great, great

great

grandma loved most.

Like a husband’s worn boots by the mudroom door,

the smell of onions in a cast iron pan,

the giggle of a tickle fight,

the whisper of a 2-year-old’s secret —

and a cup of creamy coffee in the afternoon.

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