Who will find her beautiful?

song at midnight

… do not
send me out
among strangers
— Sonia Sanchez

this big woman
carries such sweetness
in the folds of her flesh.
her hair
is white with wonderful.
she is
rounder than the moon
and far more faithful.
who will hold her,
who will find her beautiful
if you do not?

— Lucille Clifton


It’s late and I’m tired.  It has been a so-so day.  I woke up sick and, even though I feel better now, that early, painful flash of ill colored the rest of my day.  I was impatient and fussy, unable to summon my usual calm in the face of too many questions.

The one thing I kept remembering, the thing that helped pull my day back from ‘bad’ is that today is April 9th, today we celebrate the birth of my amazing, otherworldly, so-exactly-who-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up god-daughter, my niece.  Not the first time the thought of my niece or nephew has been enough to push me out of a bad or sad mood.

Tomorrow will be better.

Tonight’s rhyme royal cheats just a little, but I’m giving myself a hall pass on this one.

For T

Eleven short years
easily filling each beat of my heart.
Together, we’re
opposites attracting — my sweet to her tart
her speed boat, my go-cart.
Our bond expands, unfolds and grows,
a perfectly-formed, multi-petal’d rose.


10 thoughts on “Who will find her beautiful?

  1. molly

    hey, I think rhyming suits you. I love “her speed boat, my go-cart” and the clunky feeling in my mouth of the eleven syllables from my to cart. The compound nouns speed boat and go-cart resist the la.la.la of iambic stuff.
    It’s hard to keep going when the defeatedness kicks in. It happens to me, too. I am glad the babes are there, and that you are loving enough to summon them up.


    1. Thanks, Molly! I’ve been trying to avoid the along sing-song of iambic meter. I think that’s part of what made me not want to do rhymes. Sometimes I think my lines are falling that way. I liked and didn’t like the clunkiness of that speed boat line. I kept switching nouns, but kept coming back to these two. They’re just the most accurate, I guess.


  2. Stacie,
    Even sick and feeling blah you come through with a dessert of rich words and heart.

    I can’t separate your words. Here’s the whole wonderful piece shot back at you:

    Eleven short years
    easily filling each beat of my heart.
    Together, we’re
    opposites attracting — my sweet to her tart
    her speed boat, my go-cart.
    Our bond expands, unfolds and grows,
    a perfectly-formed, multi-petal’d rose.

    Lucky that you still have this connection. As mine-1 nephew and 4 nieces grew up beyond teens, they left me behind, at least for now.
    Enjoy and feel better,


    1. Thanks, Bonnie. I’m feeling perfectly well today. Yesterday was just one of those ‘off’ days. Funny how sometimes it’s harder to work a short week (I was off on Monday and Tuesday) than a full one! I hope your nephew and nieces grow back toward you, and that mine don’t grow too far away. I don’t see them nearly as much as I’d like, but the connection I feel with both of them is so strong, I don’t like to think of it diminishing even a little!


  3. Wonderful poem, Stacie. I especially loved this bit, too:
    “opposites attracting — my sweet to her tart
    her speed boat, my go-cart.”

    (And the Lucille Clifton one is beautiful, too, of course. I love its rhythms.)

    I hope you are feeling better.


    1. Thanks, Alejna. I’m feeling just fine today. I’m glad you like the poem. (And yes, Lucille’s poem is so lovely!) If I keep this up, I may have to finally admit that I’m a poet!


  4. Love these lines!

    opposites attracting — my sweet to her tart
    her speed boat, my go-cart.

    Had I not known about “T” this easily could have read as a love poem between adults. As is, it is a lovely testament to the bond between you and your niece.

    Funny how you strive hard against iambic when rhyming and, because I am so bad at it, I strive for it when writing in certain forms.

    Uh, sweetie? I have a New flash: You write poetry/prose (on purpose!) — guess what that makes you?

    Don’t worry, it took a couple of years to embrace the term “poet” as a personal adjective, you’ll get there.


    1. Thanks, Raivenne. Funny, I thought this read like a ‘love poem,’ too. Of course, it is a love poem, just not a romantic one. Your newsflash is pushing me to write a post about why I resist claiming ‘poet’ for myself. Hmm …


  5. Hi, Stacie! I’ve not been a good blog friend/visitor for months but I so enjoyed this post. I, too, appear to have a special channel in my brain for the children of my nieces and nephews! They can pick me up and carry me despite our differences in avoirdupois! On some days when I am low, I think back to some thing or moment with them, and I feel myself perking up.

    Like the other comments, I also loved this poem!! Also, I wish you lived closer so we could talk about our President!! No kidding, I have never been more impressed with a human being in my entire 65 (yikes) years.

    Hope your spirit soars in the coming spring.


    1. Hi, Pat! I, too, have struggled to be a good blog friend. It gets harder all the time, keeping up with all the people whose blogs I enjoy. I’d love to have a conversation about Mr. My President. Hey, I’m heading to some place in Massachussets next weekend (don’t you love how clear I am? I just can’t remember the name of the town) for a strategic planning retreat. Maybe it’s close to you! I’ll find out where we’re going and email you …


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