Saturday, December 5, 2009

First Snow Poem

One of the things I've been thinking about is how to write baby/children poems without falling into the cliche of "wonder." Of course both babies are amazed by the world and I'm amazed by them...and I want some of that in the collection, but it feels like that has to be handled very carefully and I can't have many of those poems.

I'm also trying to stay honest to the experience, and not shape poems to my expectations. I always find this harder than it should be when writing. It's amazing what a strong pull the world of images has on us in this way--magazines, movies, etc.--we have such clear images about what things should be that it's hard to see past those to the way they really are. Anyone else have trouble with this?

Here's one I'm working on now--not sure if this works or not.

First Snow

It snowed, as it nearly always does,
on Hallowe'en morning.

I buttoned your blue coat over your jammies,
slipped on your boots, and took you out

to meet the fat, thick flakes. You are 2,
and although you held your hands out

as I showed you, and watched the snow melt
in your palm, and the ground slowly disappear,

this was not magical to you. This was not
stars filling a dark ground, a cover moving up

a cold, empty bed. You kept turning
toward the door, wanting in, wanting

your blanky and a cup of milk. For you, this was
just change, the world turning on you once again,

and you know exactly how to deal with it:
go inside the warm, familiar house.

Drink a cup of warm milk. Hold your blanky to your face.
Inhale its familiar, sleepy smell.