Cleaning with a Baby

My two month old does not approve of cleaning.

I know because I’ve tried. I’ve tried putting him, peacefully sleeping, in his bassinet only to hear a mighty roar one, three, five minutes later. I’ve tried bending over to tidy while wearing him in a soft structured baby carrier (no unwitting brand promotion here!), the little pouch where he spends a good portion of his day, only to find that I must devote one hand to supporting his floppy little baby head.

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Soap-Box Banter

I wasn't published for any Shakespearean criticism this year. But, I did stand up on my soap-box about his legacy.

I also stood on my soap-box about feminism, education in America, the book I wrote that doesn't feel finished, my height, and a number of things in between. Except soap, ironically.

I stood on my soap box for so long that the topics I wanted to banter on, no longer were in fashion. Similar to my three year old brown knee-high boots paired with long white socks pulled sky high; meant to keep my legs warm when a skirt was selected over the more obvious choice of pants.

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Bubbles in the Stream

Find your own expression in the form. Even when doing the identical thing as someone else, you do it the way you would, not the way they would. Take care of the form and yourself in the expression. 

Boredom doesn’t exist in the meditative world, because boredom is wishing to do something else while waiting for something better to start. 

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Quality of Life

Yesterday evening, I bathed myself, trimmed my cuticles and my nails on both hands and feet. I thought of the podiatrist appointments that I need to take my clients to, next week...

When I am old, will I allow myself to pay for someone else to clip my nails, comb my hair, floss and brush my teeth, clean my body, shower me, wipe my ass; see me naked in order to give me personal care of the things that, at 60 years old, I still feel privileged to accomplish on my own?

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A New Day

I remember waking up one morning and knowing I needed to go back to school. I was a school counselor and my job was perfectly fine, but I wanted more than perfectly fine. The voice in my head told me that if I wanted to teach this was the time to do it. I was fifty years old.

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This morning I am listening to the sound of settling all around me.  Settling into this new space with the large windows.  Settling into routines and where to hang the keys and what day to pull out the trash cans. Acknowledging the little buds of roots emerging underneath this new life.

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I didn't know I had a nervous tick.
We rode the metro for a whole year - so I trained myself to put on chap stick when in large crowds.
My lips have been dry for six months since I stopped riding the metro, but I still shake my foot over my knee.

"Sit like a laaaady" - barks my mother, but she's the sweetest person I know.
Why did I think, "barks"?

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In Defense of the Participation Ribbon

The color of the ribbon is somewhat irrelevant to an eight year old. She doesn’t care if it’s regular blue (winner!) or light blue (participator!). It’s not the form of her triumph, it’s the matter - a slightly glossy strip of fabric purchased in bulk and stamped by mothers working in a small brown room that smells of chlorine. It’s okay to always see your name at the bottom of the lists taped to the dark green doors and to be the last one across the pool - as long as there’s that ribbon.

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Telling My True Story

Buffeted by emotional winds,
unexpected gusts of shame
submerged in rants and tirades,
I’m tacking between transparency
and mystery, wonder if I’m over-
stating or holding back, easily
capsized by a frown or negative

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PoetryJoan Mazza Comment