My husband and I met on a blind date one weekend I was home visiting during my senior year in college. We adopted our daughter about ten years later (She was born on Thanksgiving Day), and then our beloved dog whose birthday we declared to be the day we brought her home. I am a middle school special education teacher, creativity coach, expressive arts workshop facilitator, and reiki master living in New Jersey. My website is called Poet in You (poetinyou.weebly.com). In the Waiting, my first book, came out this year. My poems have also appeared in a number of journals including Tiferet, US 1, Exit 13, and LIPS, and online in The Music In It: Adele Kenny's Blog.
“See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence;
see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...”
Tell yourself, as leaves
cover lawns, block
gutters, crumble and
crack beneath feet, that
trees hide secrets, too.
In silence obscured by
wind, fortified by sun,
coddled by clouds, notice
the maple’s smile, the pine’s
pride, the oak’s confidence.
Step closer. See yourself--
a wanderer among masked
men, explorer without a
mission, doctor with stethoscope
in search of a heart.
Remove lost pet posters tacked
to trunks. Catch a few acorns.
Chat with trees you’ve ignored
or underestimated. Then, lose your
way. Watch the stars move, and wait
for whatever happens.
You held the long-stemmed rose we
bought that morning just for you—a
stark, white desk and a marriage half
your eighteen years between us. A
thousand miles from Missouri and
your mother—college dreams derailed--
you asked if I would stay home or
work. No diaper experience, no course
in lullabies, no rubber ducks in the tub--
our credentials were limited. A lifetime
of love for the baby you carried—our
only guarantee. The day you chose us,
we dared to dream of diapers, kisses,
a crib, and the happiness scheduled to
start in just two weeks. I called you
every day as your due date approached.
I sensed your confusion and fear.
Twelve days later, you changed your
mind, locked yourself in a bathroom
and screamed while you waited for
your mother—a woman with grandma
in her eyes—to take you home.
Where do all mistakes go? Are they
filed in folders, packed in boxes, left
in lockers? Were they burned, crushed,
ripped, spewed, covered up--
tossed to pigeons?
Can mistakes be examined under a
microscope, pried opened, dressed
to withstand wear, forced to walk naked
in winter? Do they stand in size order,
from oops to odious?
Do errors of judgment mean to haunt
us? Are wrong answers worse than
wrong turns? Are gaffes out-of-the-box
goofs? Who repairs broken words
and cracked egos, anyway?
Does laugher replace lost patience or
leave deep dents? Without slights,
missteps, bloopers, and blunders,
would people hide, lie, apologize?
Will we ever know?
They summon us and we go.
Eighty sleepy souls file through
security, shuttle under archways,
crowd into a stark courtroom. No
It’s a day of grunts and gripes,
slow lines, long silences.
Strangers complain of hard
benches, missing banisters,
cool air, the heat.
The accused’s back faces us. The judge and
attorneys, huddled like football players, prepare
their strategy. We strain to hear. No one moves.
The judge announces, This is a sexual assault
case. I picture my picket fence and the
brick path to our door. The interviews for
fourteen jurors begin. A man with pants held up
by magic is first. He gets his news from Fox TV.
A potter with a law degree follows. She reads
The Times, listens to NPR. Young mothers,
laid-off teachers, and part-timers losing a day’s
pay claim financial hardship—the judge dismisses
the first seven candidates. The rows start to thin.
What was your last year of school completed?
he asks the woman with a limp and a loud voice.
He excuses her before the next question, and
allows a seventy-five year old to leave when she
asks. The defense rejects a military man who
believes policemen less likely to tell the truth
than the average Joe.
It’s mid-afternoon. The sun reveals a long scratch in
the bench and a woman at the far end. She slides
lipstick across her lower lip. The clerk calls the next
name. A mirror snaps shut. I have no time for this,
she mutters, and struts up the aisle, prepared to go home.
©2014 Wendy Rosenberg