52 Poems: Weeks 51 and 52 The End

These are the last poems I'll be posting for a while. 52 poems ends up being quite a lot, so thanks for coming along with me on this year's poetry detour. It reminded me how much words matter. Hopefully, they reminded you of that too.

2013 has been a year filled with teaching, writing, reading, and poetry, but it's also been about a little girl who is growing in a world far away from where I grew up and far away from my immediate family. Here are a couple of poems from my Reflections on Motherhood collection about little Kiara Harper's journey. They were inspired by poems I posted in week 14 of this poem-a-week project, Pablo Neruda's "You Will Remember." and in week 16, Billy Collins' "Forgetfulness." 

Urban Girl
after Pablo Neruda’s “You Will Remember”

You will remember sirens and bright night skies,
the beach and warm winters,
voices in a chorus of languages
and traffic flowing instead of silent water.

You will remember snow as a vacation
an escape to a mountain
rather than a driveway or walk to shovel
or a day off from school.

You will remember family
after a plane ride or a long drive
and the Oregon relatives whose love
stretches from a thousand miles away.

Pictures with Grandpa
after Billy Collins’ “Forgetfulness”

I watch you with your grandpa
and I’m so glad you know him,
that his booming voice
is familiar to your tiny ears,
that his bright white smile
brings out your giggle.

I snap pictures to capture the moments

so when he slips away,
when he can no longer remember your name,
I can show him pictures
of that first Christmas and first birthday
to help jostle loose a memory
of how much he loves you.

And when he is gone
I will show you these photographs
so you will know,
in a time before you can remember
your grandpa loved you
and you loved him too.