Friday, July 24, 2009

There is a (Petunia Faced) Girl Inside

Am I a part of you? Zoey asked me the other day as we were driving home, and I very nearly swerved off the road. I have no idea where she got that from, or why she asked the question. But I said yes and held my breath as I ran the tail end of a yellow light slow. She is part of me, and I her, both of us girls wearing clackety clack shoes on an uneven driveway giggling cheeks and teeth and eyes. And I know that one day years from now I will wonder how I have a teenager when I am still one myself, a twenty year old, a forty year old, forever a girl raising a girl with breasts and just one coarse gray hair. That one day I will be very lucky to notice, irritated, how she sees me step through doorways and over curbs, how she watches me out of the corner of her eye as if I cannot see for myself that the floor slopes down. The whole of us the sum of eachother's parts, uncertain as to exact proportion and time and again.

There is a girl inside.
She is randy as a wolf.
She will not walk away and leave these bones
to an old woman.

She is a green tree in a forest of kindling.
She is a green girl in a used poet.

She has waited patient as a nun
for the second coming,
when she can break through gray hairs
into blossom

and her lovers will harvest
honey and thyme
and the woods will be wild
with the damn wonder of it.
--Lucille Clifton
Happy Friday to all, and to all a good weekend.
xo,
Susannah

15 comments:

Simply Mel said...

A mirrored-reflection of ourselves is my hope for remaining young and alive...forever 30 we shall be! :)

Brandi said...

I loved clickety clack shoes!!!!
p.s...my dad didn't.

Up Mama's Wall said...

Oh my God, that poem made me cry. Having a daughter is such a crazy, intense, beautiful, scary thing. I hope she is everything I am and I hope she is everything I'm not. And, man, I hope she doesn't waste so much precious time wondering what 15-year-old boys think of her.

mosey along said...

Sweetness, and thank you for posting that poem - it's pure lovely.
As a baby I felt my daughter was privy to something in the universe that I was not, so I spent a lot of time with my forehead pressed to hers, staring deep into those space-filled eyes. Still do, while she still lets me. She gives me something I wouldn't have otherwise.

Maggie May said...

i love this post! and that picture is priceless.

Cindi said...

What a beautiful poem. What a great post.

krista said...

that poem hit me pretty hard. thank you.

meinkc said...

My daughter is 15. She'll be 16 on July 31st. She is amazing and wonderful, but somehow is recently a tiny bit Lost To Me (which is not entirely a bad thing and is probably what needs to happen in the whole circle of life scheme of things, but still.) We were closer than close in the Early Years.

Do you like Jonatha Brooke? The Story? How about this song? I think it's called 'So Much Mine'. Their voices are so beautiful, but even on paper it kind of kills me (but you kind of need to hear it for it to be meaningful). :)

Song:

Where'd you get that dress?
Where'd you learn to walk like that?
Don't talk back
Tell me where you've been - maybe I don't want to know
Oh, Lord, why me?

You were so much, so much mine, now I reach for you
and I cannot find you
So much, so much mine, now I reach for you
and I cannot find you

So much mine
So much mine
So much mine

You know you've got my hands,
and you've got your father's eyes -
lovely, bold eyes
I know that it's not fair, but things aren't always what they
seem - and now I worry so -

Where you'll lay your head, where you'll sleep tonight,
Way up high, why, oh why can't I
Someone's pillow's cold, someone loved you so,
And bluebirds sang, "There's no place like home"
(They sang)

Where's the heart in me that made the one in you so cold,
Please don't go
'Cause I know where you got that dress, I know where you
learned to walk like that

'Cause you were so much, so much mine
now I reach for you
and I cannot find you
So much, so much mine
now I reach for you and I cannot find you

(Where you'll lay your head, where you'll sleep tonight,
Way up high, why, oh why can't I
Someone's pillow's cold, someone loved you so,
And bluebirds sang, "There's no place like home"
They sang)

So much mine
So much mine
So much mine
So much mine, so much mine

Petunia Face said...

I know--isn't that poem divine? I made Zoey sit on my lap so I could read it to her and she squirmed and squirmed but I didn't care.

Meink--I had never heard of Jonatha Brooke, but you're right--what a beautiful (and slightly heartbreaking) song. I found it on Youtube--here's the link for anyone who wants to watch it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYwsZsUMDjs

xo,
S

meinkc said...

...here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8mrby_xI4g

:)

Hannah Miet said...

Kids are so beautiful.

What they say is so organic and poetic. And they don't even know it.

I love this post.

Zakary...ZDub if you're nasty. said...

I love the way you love Zoe.

Magchunk said...

I just turned 24 and am realizing more every day that I am becoming my mother. An exact phrase, in an exact tone slipped out last week and was followed immediately by "I am officially my mother now". Which is ok. Because she is awesome, and I could only be so lucky.

And I think that goes for Miss Z too.

nicole said...

her eyelashes kill me!

ModernMommaBlog said...

This post is so perfect.