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Joan Kantor

for my daughter Leah and my granddaughter Ariana, in celebration of her fifth birthday

She gets through the days of COVID confinement
with planned activities for her children, and little time for herself.
Her toddler, though loveable, has the usual two-year-old tantrums;
the eldest, though patient, has her moments.
She misses preschool and her friends
and, though registered for kindergarten, she might not get to go.
In these unfamiliar days of total confusion,
her mother constantly worries about what her daughter might be missing,

but then she opens the door to the yard
which, though confining to her,
is an endless universe to my granddaughter
who, with curls bouncing and arms for wings,
prances across the grass.

She explores the tiny stream and woods behind her house,
collects rocks, slugs, worms, and other curiosities,
all while declaring her love for slimy things.

While my daughter concerns herself with schooling,
my granddaughter is learning to appreciate what she has, to entertain herself,
and to follow her own ideas to their natural conclusions and/or consequences.
Critical thinking is the star of the yard,

and as my daughter, whose very first sentence was “Bugs scare me!!!”,
stifles fear and disgust,
our bright-eyed, beaming Ariana, with a bevy of insects in her hands,
gleefully screams,

© by Joan Kantor.
Used here with the author's permission.

Joan Kantor lives with her husband in Collinsville, Connecticut.  A college counselor and learning disabilities specialist for many years, Joan also has training in education and marriage and family therapy. Active in a number of poetry outreach efforts, she is a member of the International Academy for Poetry Therapy and collaborates with both visual artists and musicians in Stringing Words Together, an interactive program of poetry and violin music. Her most recent chapbook is Too Close For Comfort (Aldrich Press).





Post New Comment:
She'll know how to handle the good and bad times with grace. Beautifully written.
Posted 09/17/2020 11:23 PM
The ability to entertain one's self in limited circumstances will be quite useful later in life! Also, that sounds like a not particularly limited yard - so much the better!
Posted 09/16/2020 09:37 PM
Lori Levy:
Very true--the "endless universe" grandchildren discover.
Posted 09/16/2020 06:08 PM
Wonderful poem and yay for the grnddaughter who seeswonder in bugs.
Posted 09/16/2020 02:26 PM
Ah, motherhood. So complex and vital.
Posted 09/16/2020 10:06 AM
Nancy R:
Learning from nature is important too. This grandchild gets an "A". For the rest of us who've forgotten, read Braiding Sweetgrass.
Posted 09/16/2020 08:59 AM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I love how this delightful poem shows the old adage of when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Both the mother and daughter are making the best of a bad situation. Who could also know bugs could make a child happy?
Posted 09/16/2020 05:23 AM

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