Poems Inspired by a Child

September 1, 2010 05:35 by Jami

She calls into the night.
Voice too soft for daddy’s dreams,
I stumble, heart awake, to her.
“Momma,” she whispers,
“I’ve had a bad think.”

I’m shivery cold
all over myself
and covered with wee little spots.
I think the name
my mommy gives them
is something a bit like goose dots.

The place
where all
the books live
is the

Four Year Old Puzzle
I have these feelings
inside me,
but the feelings
don’t tell me
the words.

Originally published in Mother, Warrier, Pilgrim

A One-Year-Old's Point of View

August 20, 2010 04:48 by Jami

Ansley has a point of view.
She announces it
with eyes squeezed shut
fists clenched
back arched
Her message is “No.”
Once you agree with her
she returns
to joy. 

How to Retire in 7 Steps

August 10, 2010 05:21 by Jami

1.  Plan to leave your job when what it used to mean doesn’t mean that anymore.
2.  Accumulate enough money not to feel deprived, or scared.
3. Assess your energy and have ample left to begin new things and tackle the projects on the “to-do-in-retirement” list you’ve been making for years.
4. Start a couple of brand new things—Tai Chi, a writer’s group, piano lessons—and undertake at least one task each month from your “to-do-in-retirement” list. 
5. Have a two year old granddaughter named Ella:

Ella will take up the slack and tell you what to do.
“Sit, Jami,” she will say.  And you will sit.  Then she will say, “Ella read.”  She will open her mother’s graduate school tome, The Teacher’s Encyclopedia of Behavior Management, 835 pages of tiny text with no pictures, and she will begin to “read.”  Exuberant gibberish.  Page after page.  More gibberish.  Mercifully she’ll begin to skip chunks of pages at a clip, gibberish waning.
  Finally, she’ll slam the book shut and reach for a Pottery Barn Kids catalog.  “Oh,” I say, “look at the pretty . . . .”
“No, Jami, no touch.  Ella read.”  This time words sparkle out of her mouth—  “Baby crib.  Bed.  Pink ball.  Aqua.  Jammies.  Dog.  Yellow moon.  Circle.”  When it’s absolutely time to leave, you’ll explain to her that you must go home to cook supper for Poppi.
“Jami cook supper for Poppi?”
“Yes, but I will come again very soon to play with Ella.  OK?”
“OK.  I luff you.  Bye, bye, Jami.”
 Hugs.  Kisses.  Waves.

6. Count your blessings.
7. Count them again.  

Originally published in Senior Times