Original Poem 19


For Mother’s Day, I went with my mom to see the van Gogh exhibit at the Art Institute.

I also wrote this sonnet for her, which depicts parts of her past fused with elements of motherhood and the present. The first photo is of my mother during a flute lesson in India.

A Portrait of My Mother

Your past is foreign, India your heart,

to us, whose life you made in motherhood.

You shared your stories, let us be a part,

and from each one we grew and understood

your talents, more than Vishvarupa’s arms,

your courage, honesty, compassion, smarts

your humbleness disguises many charms,

that we in secret are your counterparts

and mimic traits that we admire more

than we admit. For I am more aware

of beauty in the world, and I explore

the depths of others and myself. I swear

that you have taught me more than you will know;

the life you paint inspires like van Gogh.


Original Poem 18: The Arrow


This is a wedding poem, written for Claire and Ryan 3-19-16

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photo by Kathleen Quinn

The Arrow

If love was a straight shot,

it would miss the point:

The point of staying up late

to proffer liaisons of laughter and

contented, quiet companionship

while the other finishes an essay.

The point of acquiring a speeding ticket,

while over-eagerly rushing to Beloit

just to arrive in the nick of time

to spectate the other’s game.

The point of skyping at odd hours

while the other explores

the essence of la vie in Nantes.

The point of dwelling in frigid temperatures

in the dead of winter in a place

where space heaters don’t cut it

and door frames don’t close it,

but cuddles from the other

make things alright.

The point of sleeping in the mud

no shower, no tub

to bask in cheers with beers

and your bearded dear.

The point of driving back and forth

from Chi to High and High to Chi

to balance labor and love.

The point of waking up early on Sundays

because the loss of sleep is worth

the joy of joining family for brunch.

The point of dropping on one knee

even though it’s raining out

to turn a good thing into a lifetime.

The point of cheering each other on

and feeling all the more confident

because the other is by your side

in this journey called life.

The arrow cannot miss when guided by this kind of love.