When to Bathe a Baby

When our nurse at the hospital showed us how to bathe Ronan, she said, “Bathe him when he’s dirty.” I squinted at her and thought, “He’s a baby. How dirty can he possibly get?” 

With the end of month three in sight, I am no longer puzzled.

Reasons to bathe your baby, a haiku series:

Poop on all the things.
Snuggles with adult armpits.
Fingernails are gross.

Let-down milk face bath.
More spit-up than milk eaten.
Breastmilk cheese for days.

The dog licked his feet.
I needed to wear sunscreen.


I’ve got creativity on the brain right now. It’s a dangerous state of mind sometimes (as can be evidenced by my dead-serious and possibly ill-advised statement to John this morning: “I think I want to quit my life and become a wool farmer”), but it also fills me with this boundless joy and plenitude of energy that I get antsy if I can’t share. I’m having a hard time finding enough people to share it with, so I’m going to share with you this poem that I wrote in a similar state of inspired madness some who-knows-when time ago.


Create something.


I don’t care what you do,

as long as it gives a piece of you to the world.

If you aren’t creating,

you’re only taking.

That’s a thankless way to live.

Funeral Arrangements

John and I were looking at a random internet posting of unusual gravestones last night, and while I understand the desire to leave a mark after death, almost all of the novelty gravestones were, quite frankly, horribly tacky. John also liked some of them a little too much for my comfort. I think it would be wise to make my wishes known publicly now, before it’s not too late to stop him from commissioning some gauche eyesore to mark my burial place. Here’s the next installment of “fairly bad poetry I wrote in my journal who-knows-how-long ago.”

Funeral Arrangements

When death comes (it does),

raze this temple by the open sea,

beneath the soaring stars.

Sow the ground with ashes,

where the cherry blossoms sleep.

Do not weep.


Tell a tale.


Remember the fallen and

when death comes (it does),

lay your bones beneath my tree.

Watch the cherry blossoms fall

with me.



I have a little secret. Don’t tell anyone, but…sometimes I write poems. I never, ever share them with anyone because I have a horror of discovering that someone will point out how silly they are. But as I was reading Jack Prelutsky and Robert Frost and W.H. Auden and Shel Silverstein this week, searching for passages to use with my summer kids, I realized something. All poetry is a bit silly, and to hide mine for fearing of exposing my silliness is like Mokey’s bid to get into the secret society of Poobahs. In the spirit of getting over myself, I dug through my journal and started looking for poems for your, well, hopefully enjoyment. Or at least your amusement. They’ll be popping up from time to time, so stop by for a chuckle, if nothing else.


A poem is a private thing.

It is a bowl into which I crack my eggs,

so I might stare at the gooey mess and

pick out all the prickly bits of shell.

No egg cracks like another.

Would you use a spoon to pick out the pieces,

instead of your fingers?

Were you making meringue?

I meant it for an omelet.

A poem is a private thing.

A public poem is a brave thing,

if it is sincere.

You know the pretenders,

the pharisees on the street corners.

Oh yes, they pray with wit and ennui,

with post-modern philosophy and despair…

but you know them.

They lack conviction and love

nothing more than the sound of their own voice.

Their scrambled eggs are poured from a box,

and I’ll tell you how you can tell the difference:

The brave ones always have a bit of shell.