Angel Dreams

A little while ago I promised to dig up some of my  old poems and let them escape the confines of my notebooks. Here, in honour of St. Valentine’s Day, is one recalling a date from over a decade ago, when my husband and I were just dating. Enjoy!

Angel Dreams

Sometimes I wonder if
my guardian angel gets tired…
Does she weary of my insistence
of consistently wearing myself out?
The fact that she, too,
gets dragged about by my passions–
late night bus rides and cabs–
holding my hand
and watching my day-weary face,
hours passing like years.

And what does she think
as she broods in her
milky moonlit hammock,
hanging by my window
like a spider
catching dreams.
Does she hear my cry–
torn about by sleepless dreams–
or do her angel thoughts
fade me out?

Does she spend the time I’m sleeping
sewing the names of people I love
into her gown with starlit thread?
That she may be held aloft
buoyant with their love
remembering me as fingers remember lips.

Was she there that time at Rossini’s?
With the live jazz
and James and I gazing at each other
and grinning–
bouncing around in our seats like kids–
so impressed by the wonderful, throaty
wailings and croons of the black singer
we couldn’t help but dance to her voice.

Did she sit, invisible,
at the table beside us
sipping at a mug
of dream-drowsy blueberry tea…
eyes glazed with candle glow…
Or did she hover near the ceiling above us
just watching
and no drinking on the job,
for when God’s your boss
there’s no sneaking,
although there must be
benevolence.

The amorous little gentleman

I was just beginning to write this silly little poem earlier when the baby flung back his arm while nursing and hit “post” long before it was ready. Eek! Sorry for those who received this strange snippet in their inbox! Now that the kids have stopped parachuting off their bunkbeds or other similar gymnastic feats, I’ve been able to finish it. Voilá!

The amorous little gentleman

approached with an unabashed smile of delight

and pulling my hair towards him

took a generous chomp of my chin.

He is not at all shy

but perfectly clear

that it’s his utter to delight to bite me

—smooch here and here and here—

If he weren’t so sweet,

like a down covered peach,

perhaps I would try to struggle

but darling he is,

I simply give in

and chubby arms round my neck

give him a snuggle.

  

Yippee: Debt Free

This Valentine’s my husband gave me a wonderful, unexpected gift. He paid off my last, our last, student loan. Six substantial loans gone…debt free!

After 4 years of living in a one-bedroom apartment with the kids to save money, 8 years of taking the bus because we couldn’t afford a car, cutting my own hair to save the money, 8 years of handing over every extra cent to pay them off, every tax refund, every little windfall, we finally did it. Paid off a massive amount of student loan debt on one modest income, and now we are free!

It is a wonderful gift. My husband works so hard and sacrifices so much for us. I am truly grateful.

So, you ask, what did you get him for Valentine’s?

Well, a sandwich.

What?!

I tried to make it the yummiest one I could: tomato bocconcini with fresh spinach leaves, homemade olive oil and balsamic dressing, full of basil, oregano and garlic…roasted in the oven, with juicy purple olives on the side…but yes, a sandwich.

And a card I coloured with my three year old:

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It doesn’t really compare does it? To thousands of dollars? But you know, we each gave our gifts with love, and we’re both happy.

It’s not a competition, and besides, I am happy to be outdone by him. Happy to be forever indebted to him, who has given me so much. I don’t mind needing him.

After watching a sweet romantic comedy called “Just Like Heaven,” I listened to him falling asleep, breathing slowly and holding my hand. Our fingers were squeezed together until I couldn’t tell if the faint “ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum” I felt between my them was my pulse or his.

Being vulnerable and needing each other, each on our own ways, helps us stay close. And isn’t that what Valentine’s is all about?