Sometimes Everything is Rad & Red

Sometimes your kids subtly snarl their lips and the boy throws something, displeased.

Sometimes your girl calls you the baddest mommy ‘cuz you’ve given her,

expected her to eat something very very green.


This, coming a day after you made the worst meal ever,

I mean how is it even possible to make ramen into a disgusting mush?

You probably felt defeated, muttered an apology that was inwardly mean, the old self-depricating

words they’re not supposed to see.

Maybe she saw the door open to be quite bold…


Things you lost, things you still haven’t found

Makes for some sensitivity,

especially when you go to lay down.

(You know how thoughts have room to breathe

on the way to sleep).


But then,


Your girl leans over, with a kiss and a flourish,

says, “Thank you for taking me here”.

Says, “This is the best egg and you are a great mommy”,

Says, “I love you so much” just because, maybe.


And sometimes my husband wants seconds on his meal,

the one I cooked after the last time when everything got burnt.

Sometimes the broccoli is not overdone;

the greens are not over-salted

and your son hands over a piece of banana-smoosh

instead of throwing.


Sometimes you remember to buy coffee

in time before running out completely

and sometimes

the students in my big Japanese middle school

follow after me like breathless puppy-girls

spotting Brittany Spears. (Or maybe I’m the puppy).

Sometimes I hear 40 seconds of “She is so so cute!”

Sometimes they even congregate outside the office

willing their tongue to practice the introductory English-speech

that will enable our conversation.

Whisps of “Where…where…why are you going”?


Sometimes things are just dope, wonderful, and rad.

Sometimes you choose to only make room

squirrel the moments of glad.


Mostly, though, it is all love here.

Mostly, love rules the day and centers the night

all of us lovers of kindness,

all of us who remember a day by its laughs,

our waving with infinitesimal snuggles and kisses

from toddlers with the most delicious soft tummies

and gleams in their light-filled eyes

and a husband who is everything good, every cliche but sincerely.



Mostly, if I am honest,

there is more joy than the day before,

more to rave than roar.


This is, above all, a family of singers, ticklers, and silly-voice readers.

We all notice peace, all crave the real sweetness, the lasting goodness.

The Valentine-thinking, the red hearts beating with love-soaked thinking

and smiles that are always noticed,

if only inside.



Sometimes everything is alright enough

and then some

when I am learning, moment-by-moment

to dwell on the what-you-can-control




means maybe not even dinner.

The little things are enough.

The discipline is the joy is the discipline

and we are all little love-monks making the humblest of cards

which is our life and the little tasks that make up a life,

like dinner.


At least let them know my love

by the way I set the table.

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