bricks and mortar really haven’t changed
since umpteen-thousand b.c.
hard square things with sticky stuff between
harder and stickier now, perhaps, but they still make houses
even less mutable is our need for shelter
man is woman is child is man—
we all need it
and so: bricks, mortar, house built
modern motherhood, eternal conundrum
rears its head
knowing little of construction, I
take out a mortgage: problem solved
across the table, under our roof
my daughter caps and uncaps markers
her molecular structure stable
her physical world strong and childproofed
while I play with pieces of my puzzle
jigging and sawing the words, the phrases
the memories that will shape her life
too many ‘no’s or too few
too little praise or for the wrong thing
one veggie too many cajoled down her throat
do we laugh enough? love enough?
balance freedom and security?
oh what I would give for a blueprint!
an architect to take my order:
her eyes windows to life, health, beauty
a door in her heart for faith and love
but a custom security system (direct dial to mom)
I want her wired for fun, strong, sturdy,
eco-friendly, with a self-correcting central processor
in a good neighborhood, adjacent to other good homes
every last detail of the finest craftsmanship
oh—and where do I get really good bricks?
because, most of all, I don’t want a hole
yes, The Hole, the gaping void in me
that I fill with food or escape in books
how do I build her a whole home
experiences and skills and knowledge
strong foundation to leakless roof
to shelter her beautiful spirit, hole-free and wholly free?