June 29, 2010

Erin Kilmer

I am here, there,
it seems some days

where I want to be
humming with the churn
of the dishwasher
and spinning around
dizzy in the laundry

and they are calling me
with glue bottles stuck shut
and scraped
knees and lost cups
and I am here with them

what I wanted
but dizzy, still, and hurrying

clatter on the table
with the plates and knives
and jug of milk
and when will Daddy be home

did you brush your teeth,
change your socks,
don’t wrestle in the living
room because I am here
wrestling with the pots and pans

and each day we are here,
and there, library, park,
hiding in the basement, sweeping
the floor and folding blankets

and it is me with
them and them with
me and that is what is meant,
what we are meant for,
never easy but worth it

water the tomatoes, knead
our daily bread and read living
Words and clear the table so
it can be a shipyard again until dinnertime

three meals around this table every day
and we grow, they grow, with
buttered toast and eggs scrambled
whisk falling on the floor, on
the baby

am I coordinated enough for this dance

I will find my footing,
and we will all be together
ringing round rosies and doing
all these good things while my head spins,

dizzy with all I have to do,
dizzy with all they teach me,
dizzy with grace


I Don’t Know Why the Caged Bird Fails
by Erin Kilmer

my parents stopped one night
randomly on the way back
from somewhere else

and bought a bird.

they bought a blue parakeet,
named him/her/it Charlie,
and hung the cage in Dad’s study.

i think it was a mid-life crisis.

and now, more than ten years later,
Charlie still perches
in that cage, afraid of shadows–

my parent’s paranoid parakeet.

it makes the sounds it hears–
computer-mouse clicks
and soft feeder-bird cheeps–

going crazy if you come too close.

and when we visit,
my parents point out the little bird,
gender unknown, and Mom says to the kids,

“say hello to Aunt/Uncle Charlie.”

which proves, as i have always maintained,
that my family is at least
as weird as i am.

Ode to the Mess

May 10, 2010

Ode to the Mess
by Erin Kilmer

“Be not afraid of greatness,” Shakespeare said;
I say that in these words true wisdom lies.
For greatness comes to few, ’tis no surprise.
Fear thou rather thy laundry room instead–

For laundry comes to all; and fear the sink
With dishes overflowing, and the floor
Which greets with clutter all who pass the door.
Yes, fear the mess which never seems to shrink.

Fear that these messes will take o’er your life;
That you should focus only on their fall
And never see the joy within them all:
That thou should be a mother and a wife.

Oh, do thy work, but never do forget
That being theirs is thy greatest work yet.

Poem Days

April 9, 2010

Poem Days
Erin Kilmer

Some days are poem days

every moment
running with ink
awash in words
pulsing with rhythm

Some days are poem days

every moment
leaping with color
singing with rhyme
dancing with imagery

Some days are poem days


some days

are simply