Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-then November 20, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:25 am
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When was the moment

that ‘we’ broke apart?

Or did it just wear away?

All those things in common,

yet nothing holds together.

I rocked you in my arms

dreamed of all you’d be.

Never did I imagine you’d be

without me.

Why did you turn away?

We gave you space to grow

and now we don’t know

if loneliness is the price we pay,

when children make their way,

break their way,

wear away.

 

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poem-Mother’s Day humility May 14, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:44 pm
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Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!

the mother wrote.

The greeting card holidays remind children

of filial duties.

Without them, would they ever call?

Text message comes mid-day:

Happy Mother’s Day.

An opening!

Mother replies,

When will we see you?

No response.

Cat’s in the Cradle.

.

Sacrifice.  Care.   Tuition bills.  Sick beds.   Pain.

And here,

A lesson in humility.

It’s strange how

Happy Mother’s Day

can feel a lot like

F-you.

A greeting card sentiment,

leaves a slashing wound,

sliced by a weapon wielded in a war

she didn’t know had been declared.

There had been no need to

clean the vase,

dress up for the surprise

brunch,

lunch,

dinner,

visit?

or even stay home to hang around the phone

so as not to disappoint

the kids

who call to wish

Happy Mothers’ Day.

.

.

.

(I’ve got a short story in my brain, but we’ll start with this.)

 

poem-morning December 25, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:58 am
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Somewhere,

children are laughing

tearing wrappings

squealing gleefully.

Somewhere,

some one is dining on cold pizza

in relative contentment

absent of relatives.

Somewhere,

snow is falling,

from a moonlit sky

and light is returning

bit by bit.

 

poem-promise September 29, 2015

Those childish promises

made with fervent belief

prove the power of intention:

Fealty sworn with hooked pinkies

in confident conviction.

 

poem- wedding trauma July 20, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:40 am
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The four year old leukemia patient

asked her nurse to marry her, and he said yes.

Then the whole floor got together to make a wedding:

flowers, brides maids, walk down the aisle on rose petals.

Ring pops were exchanged.

“This is the best day of my life!” the child bride exclaimed.

Youtube wedding video shared. Oh how cute! proclaims the internet.

.

I remember being four years old,

adoring the oldest son of our family friend.

His sisters all thought my devotion was adorable.

“I’ll wait for you,” he said with a kind smile.

And I believed him.

Then when I was nine, a wedding invitation came.

“You can’t have thought he was serious!” my mother snickered

at my distress.

I was rude to the bride, and no one understood why.

But I had learned that grown-ups lie and when your childish heart is crushed

they think it’s cute and kind of funny.

I remember, it was neither

for me.

.

.

.

.

Adults need to remember that children’s feelings are REAL, and that what’s ‘pretend’ is not always clear. When adults enter into imaginary play with such enthusiasm, they must do so with great care.  I confess, I’ve never quite forgiven that older brother (now 67!!) for crushing my childish heart’s expectation. While I definitely appreciate the intentions of all involved in this quote wedding unquote, I do hope Abby is not as crushed as I was to learn the truth.

Side story: the rudeness was that I told the bride her bridal hat was horrible and no one should wear hats at their wedding.  When it came time for my own wedding, I tried on a gorgeous bridal hat that looked fantastic on me.  Always sensible to hypocrisy, I chose not to get it.  (Looking at wedding photos from my era, I suspect that was probably for the best).

Article about the hospital wedding here.

 

poem- Mom May 10, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:05 am
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So many mothers:

mine with her great gardening gams

independent and active, just like always,

and I with my empty nest

working, writing, studying and more.

Busyness channeled in different directions,

but independent.

I always said, “I’m raising independent children,”

like my mom

I did my job.

Far away my children lead their independent lives

and only rarely feel the need to call home to update us

on the latest news.

Other mothers,

keep their chicks under their skirts,

want to be involved in every aspect of their lives,

with weekly dinners, frequent phone calls,

dependent interconnectiveness whatever their ages.

‘Not better,

not worse,

Just different’

like the exchange student mantra.

Family is the place you begin.

Family is where they have to take you in.

Family is many things

and there are many mothers.

 

poem-flames February 7, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:52 pm
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She’s caught between the flames

of inferno and ice

Accusations of blame,

of who’s not playing nice.

She’s caught between the fury

of defeat and aggression,

For neither is sorry

and all leads to depression.

She’s caught between love

crushed between hate

a magician’s dove

that is stuffed then must wait.

She’s caught between threads

stuffed up their sleeves

’til she’s dangling her head

beneath the nearest trees.

 

 

 
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