That is my final word on motherhood.
We discuss the joy enough, often it is small cuddles, slight touches.
They finally did it.
Got it
Great stuff.
But if it weren’t for the sadness
The unpreventable accident
The failed test
Fall of the bike
Skinned knee
Asking why the 98th time,
Would it the sweet be so sweet?
I doubt.
Joy is fun
Fuel helping us trip the Etsy fantastic
Instagramming up our best.
Curated best.
That can be nifty fun, kept in perspective.
It also helps them hold the joy when they are old and the wrinkles and gray hairs poke through.
Remember that fun time,
Oh right.
But the pain and sorrows are etched deep, carved in past muscle, straight to bone
No picture required there folks.
That’s the character building stuff.
We all got some of it.
That mixes in with the joy and it makes magic.
Not just sorrow they grow up
Frustration they learn the hard way
Harridness if being human and not an octopus.
I really need to be an octopus.
Not just first place trophies and group hugs either.
That cauldron of good and bad and this and that.
That’s meaning.
Yep, that’s the stuff
That’s the mother’s fuel.


Sometimes a boy wants to flap his hands
Jump up and down

There isn’t really alone in the city.
Autism attracts attention.
Differences do that.
Attention usually means stares
Sometimes glares
The worst are comments.

1 in 100 comments will be confirmation.
Oh, I’m autistic too.
My sister is autistic.
I get it.
Most don’t get it.

You don’t necessarily need to.
It is great when folks understand
Have basic knowledge
But just allowing our existence
Without intervention
Ignoring what you don’t understand
Without comment.
That is a gift.

I can’t explain all day
Don’t want to
And you know,
The autism goes where we do.

No, oh in public now,
Autism powers deactivate!
Always being autistic can become always on display
Like the zoo animals
How exhausting.

Am I right?


Toddlers and New Yorkers, not always so different.
How so?
Both stomp about their worlds in a big hurry.
Toddlers run after each other
Away from you
Into danger
With a gusto
Like a commuter trying to cram on before the train doors shut.

The busy and stomping steamroll over toes, bruise feelings
No intentionality.
Just living their big world.

But sometimes one falls down.
Another will go over and pat them on the head
Or on the back
Offer a hug
You think,
Gosh, they are human after all.


Shower days, ah the light ones spritz.
Leaving a few of fresh feeling
Washing away accumulated sweat.
The lovely showers kissing with each drop.

But thunderstorms?
Cloudy, overcast dumps
Soaking clothes to the underwear
Ripping umbrellas
Leaving you dripping, freeIng, in the AC interior
A mother nature I hate you.


They have rage slings
Hurling shots of saliva and insults
Whirling unto each other.
Fingers in faces
Tense bodies threatening to push away
Barely restraining from the release of a shove at the minimum.

It used to be them, together
Over everything
Territory in the kitchen
Bathroom times
God damn schedule
And whose schedule is most important.

Rage filled people slip
From human to beast
Rationale to releasing and thrashing
Eventually they stop caring
Who is there
Who hears this
What size are their ears and hearts?

You try tossing them outside.
Far more petulant than the dog
They refuses
Bolted down to their space
Their point.

You end up moving
Everyone else.
Evicted from your own home
Searching for peace and quiet
On a city street
Because grownups won’t hush.


New York City
Aren’t you just the most glamorous thing?
Decked out in towering skyscrapers?
Lapped at the edges by water?
Every inch is something:
Buildings, people, specks of green respite.

You sleep.
Only in certain areas
Times Square.
Awful, just awful.
The signs illuminate a path.
But the core is dead quiet.
4 am and a few tourists get a Starbucks
2 other folk get a slice.
Mostly just silence, even a weekday at 6am.

But you got them all fooled.
Do they know you stink?
Rows of streets waiting for trash collection.
That rotting putrid perfume you have in July.
You broil them too.
After sounding them down 2 it 3 flights of stairs
Teetering and wobbling with oversized luggage
Praying for safe passage or help (keep praying!)
Lugging the stroller
Then you just blast them
With an August furnace to melt their epidermis away.
The real lucky folk get an un air conditioned car.

Your people aren’t rude, necessarily.
Just killing themselves to pay your bills
They got no time for chit chat with a 4000 rent
They don’t want your new album
Your pamphlet
They don’t want anything you got that can’t help then make a buck.

New York your grimey
Your homeless and broke
Litter subways and pile up in neighborhoods
But they write songs about you.

Old songs.
Were you better than?
If I had to write you a song
It would be a blues number
Blues for sure.


Tiny things
Shirt sleeves
Front to back
How to dip the spoon
And not spread ice cream everywhere.

All these things confused him.
He knew hundreds of subway stops
Train car facts
Bus routes
A brain stuffed With specific trivia
Couldn’t navigate putting on a pair of pants.

It hurts.
Ice cream trips
Seeing more cream running across a hand, dropped on the table, smeared node to ear.
You get anxious
What am I supposed to do to help when modeling and breaking into steps fails.
He’s anxious
Why are the world so filled with eyes?

If the littlest thing is a massive peak
Rising forth on our horizon
How can big things every be done?
Yet one day he wanted huge

That’s massive.
That’s water pounding you all around
Stopping you
Battering you.
Even with help.
I felt daunted.

But he walked from the water victorious.
Head down.
Eyes swollen.
Overwhelmed by sensation.
Looking like mile 25 of a marathon.
Til he realized
That was him!
He did it.

Then smiles beamed.


Something about water calls them
All of them
Every single one of six.

One let’s hot water flow across his back.
Cheeks red and eyes elsewhere.
As a baby he took alphabet letters
And arranged them to subway lines
He didn’t talk then.
His foam letters screamed out
This is my passion
My longing
He told me, splashing in the water.

Another meticously arranges his ocean animals
Tub ledge, skipping in.
A careful museum collection.

One just floats.
You can’t float in five inches.
He tries.
On his back
Eyes shut tight
Smile broad.

The last three attack together.
Tight pack formation.
Ripping down poofs, emptying shampoo.
Running water, breeching the tubs edge.
Toys on every surface
They push and shove.

At bath time I shout
Release the Kraken!

They haven’t actually killed the bathroom
They try.
Tentacles stretching out.
Searching for weakness.
Their arms and legs in unison on a path of destruction
And delight.


My eyes swell, not shut
They crack open
They see a fuzzy image unclad in glasses and grainy with trapped matter.
But underneath they puff and somehow resist
All of it.
Lights and sights and sounds.
Can I see sounds?
Maybe my ears send a warning shot racing across my nerves.
That sound. You don’t want to see the cause of that.

I guess we call it tired.
But tired is up all night to cram for an exam.
Too many “last drinks” on the night that got away.
A grueling 12 hour shift ground to a halt. Ground deep into the ground.
But all that tired has
Finished tests, hangovers that end, bones and flesh reaching bed.

What do you call the feeling though,
If you work the grueling shift
9 years straight.
What word can describe that?

Dead? Hardly.
Stuck? A bit.
Deluded? Destructive?

What word does we use for a tired that we can’t pinpoint the origin of and no rest on the horizon?

How is it I feel?


At night the curls are pinned up
Flexible, odd rods
Medusa, snaking in all directions.
Daylight reveals tight spirals gently combed
Waves and twirls
Shifting highlights in the sun,
A peek of gray.

The foundation is uniform
But flat. Simple.
Under her eyes a swipe of blue liner
Fake lashes swish her glasses lenses
Librarian frames.
Her lips aren’t plush,
But they are sleek

A dress tickles her knees.
Block heels.
A necklace earrings some designer bag.

I want her.
I want to slide into her flesh until hers
Is mine.

But she is across an ocean
Galaxies away
My feet clad in dirty flip flops.
Hair in a sloppy braid.
Ripped jeans – a fall, not fashion
T shirt
Wrinkles bare
Flaws exposed.

She is all I want.
I hate me. This me.
I was a her. I had a job and a reason
To care
Some days someone noticed
Some days not.
Now who would I dress up for, the dog?
Does he have prefences? Are they naugahyde?

I don’t just long for her clothes.
It’s everything
Her time
Her chance for compliments.
The appreciation she may receive.

I long to be what I was
But I can’t find my way back.

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