A Love Letter to Kindergarten

A Love Letter to Kindergarten

For Dylan

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Today you sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,”
smiling proudly in your red baseball cap and striped socks.
Held my hand as we walked
through the hallway to your classroom.
After, I hugged you goodbye
amid the excitement of parents and children
rushing to work, apologizing that Mama couldn’t stay longer.

Tonight, we watch the Kindergarten slide show your teacher made
you standing in your Superhero pajamas next to me
hair still wet from the shower
I bury my nose in the sweet, fresh smell of it.
Getting to know you, getting to feel free and easy....”
We sing along during the song from the King and I
as you excitedly point out yourself and each of your friends in the pictures.

You wearing a cowboy bandanna & straw hat
eating a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree
taking field trips to the Pumpkin Patch, the Strawberry Farm
smiling as Jake the Pirate on Dress-Up Day
your painted Indian face for the Thanksgiving feast.
And there we were together, you and Mama
making Christmas ornaments, decorating gingerbread houses
playing pin the tail on the reindeer, donning our beads together
at the Mardi Gras parade, running together at Relay Recess
you, laughing with your buddy, eating a red snowball after.

Then, the melodies of Over the Rainbow and  Let them be Little play
my tears begin to flow, dropping down my cheeks like rain
as I think of this – the last Kindergarten moment.
You happily doodling on sheets of paper in front of me, singing to yourself
writing your numbers and the names of your classmates.

I hug you tighter.

At bedtime, linger longer
singing all of the verses to My Favorite Things
instead of just one or two.

Hug you closer
give you an extra sip of water.
Knowing this will be the last time you”ll be a Kindergartener
and my last time as a Kindergarten Mama.
Maybe the last time your 6 year old eyes will look up at me
asking for one more kiss, one more song, one more story
one more hug from Mama.

Knowing I can’t hold on to or stop time
only savor it, memorizing
your cheek, your skin, your face, your smile, your laugh
the way your fingers fit into mine, the way you curl into my lap
how you still need Pooh bear to sleep.

Next year there’ll be more homework, bigger ideas
bigger kids, bigger adventures, bigger challenges — bigger fish to fry.

I hope you also have bigger dreams
and bigger love, always love…

Always…Mama.

Copyright May 13 2016 Stacie Eirich 

I wake

The sun rose darkly this morning, and my words welled up from a place that is rougher and more fragile than I would like. I almost didn’t share because of that, because there is fear in sharing what hurts. But then I took a walk, and the movement seemed to change my mind — Open it, and allow myself to finish writing. Now I’m sharing to “let it go” — perhaps that is the essence of why we write poems in the first place. To embrace our feelings, name them and let them breathe among us.
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I wake 

Left this morning with his usual goodbye
resignation on his face, in his step
his sigh.

Heart expands, feels pressed into my lungs
causes my breath to catch
under the weight of it.

Skin may explode from the pressure.

Words get us nowhere, only circling
to where we’ve been before.
How can we mend?

Not with Time.
Time is a Betrayer, moving while
we remain stagnant.

There is a vast, wide space
between us.
How can we mend?

I wake and write of what I dream
a place by the sea, to write and feel
respected, known, heard, understood, loved.

Did I lay awake last night, after we spoke?
No.
Eyes closed into dreamless, blank sleep
no sleeping dreams
only waking.

In early morning moments
everything seems clear.
Knowable.
Doable.
Optimistic, like the dawn rising.
With the sun comes solace from the fingers
of long stretches of night.

I wake to dream. To write. To be me.
To believe that what I do has purpose, has meaning, is good
That life can be full, beautiful
That I am woven into the fabric of it.

That what I am is also beautiful.

That what I am is enough.

Copyright May 12 2016 Stacie Eirich