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a poem for moms whose kids are heading off to kindergarten…or to high school (from THE HUNCHBACK OF NEIMAN MARCUS)

Posted August 29th, 2013 by Sonya and filed in Uncategorized

When Samantha Gets Home from Studying at Laura’s


She’s so tuckered out that she falls asleep

while we’re watching  Orange is the New Black.

I cover her with a quilt

and kiss her on the forehead.


Then I switch off the TV and watch her sleep.

How can she be a senior already?

Seems like she was starting kindergarten only…

thirteen years ago.


Swiping at a tear, I reach for an old photo album,

and flipping through it,

I come across the picture I took of her

on the morning of her first day of kindergarten.


She’d only been willing to stand still

long enough to let me snap one shot,

while the sun haloed her hair

beneath the lacey arms of our pepper tree—


the one Michael and I planted

on the day we found out I was pregnant,

so that we’d have a place

to put the tree house.


Wearing a new dress

that was almost as blue as her eyes,

and a matching new blue bow,

perched atop her ponytail like a trained butterfly,


she clutched Monkey in one hand,

her yellow school bus lunchbox in the other,

and peered at me as though

there were no camera between us.


I’m not at all sure what this whole

going-to-school thing is about,

her eyes seemed to say.

But, whatever it is, I’m ready for it.


It wasn’t until after I clicked the shutter

that she broke into a sunny smile

and twirled around in the new white sneakers

that gleamed like small stars on her feet—


those brave little feet

that were about to carry her

down our brick path

and out


into the world…


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