Powergirl takes off

The photo yesterday is of my daughter on the beach, but she is in the air. She is not touching the ground at all. And today the picture is my son airborne at the beach. I wrote this poem in 2005. When I found each of those photographs, I thought of this poem.

Why, you say, does this poem leave the articles out? I went to high school in Alexandria, Virginia. Yes, I was a Titan and graduated from there. In Alexandria when we were really angry or really passionate, the articles got dropped. I try not to talk like this in the northwest, because people get scared. I am also influenced by Walt Kelly’s Pogo and all of the messing around with language and spelling. Stephen Fry on language (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7E-aoXLZGY) is a lovely comfort!

Previously published on everything2 August 25, 2009.

Powergirl takes off
Powergirl have wings
to fly
She related to
She scared when
baby almost die
She scared and yes’n’she
do cry

Husband say she much
too strong
He say she most allays
He sing and dance de
same old song
He rather she put on
a thong
He played too much with
that old bong

Now man he working
ooh he big
He have no time for
little kid
Not that he ever
really did

She research kidses
summer camps
She study schedules late
with lamps
Pay de money, lick de

Husband say she got too
much power
He say it nearly every
He grumpy sullen and really

Powergirl got wings
to fly
She look with longing
at the sky
She look at husband
wonder why

She finally realize he
a pain
She take a saw to
ball and chain
Husband he whine and
She wonder why he
goddamn insane
She learn divorce lawyer
nice name

Husband lie on ground and
He whine and bitch all on
de phone
Powergirl leave him there
He drink and fuck and get
real stoned

Powergirl have wings
to fly
She rising rising
in the sky
Kids light as she is
hollow bones
They scared to leave
familiar home
Ride on her shoulders
in the sky
She hopes that they will
learn to fly

The Introverted Thinker whines

One morning, the Introverted Thinker was whining. She was about 8, she was tired, the alarm had not gone off.

“I.T., you are whining.”

She continued to droop and delay and whine.

I thought, “I hate whining.” I thought of my parents. My mother would say, “Go away and come back when you can talk to me without whining.” I’ve read parenting books that tell us to say, “I can’t understand you when you whine. Say it without whining.”

But I was in a vulnerable place myself. I thought, when we whine, we are feeling very vulnerable. And to be sent away until we stop expressing that vulnerability, well, is that the message that I want to send? I thought, what do I want to be told when I wish I could whine or when I DO whine? Certainly not to go away alone with my whiny self. I thought: I want to be loved anyhow, even when I’m behaving badly.

I hugged her right away and said, “I love all of you, even the parts that whine.”

She stopped. Instantly. She just stood there in the hug for a moment and then got dressed, ate breakfast and went off to school. She didn’t seem insulted or hurt. It was just as if I’d heard her and reassured her: I am present when you are vulnerable and I love you. The whole you.

Also published on an obscure writing website in August 2010.