Thursday, November 16, 2023

Peacock Crossing

We knew a peacock was crossing the road behind us because a dog was barking at it. Bret turned to look and pointed it out to us, as we prepared to cross the one busy road on our neighborhood walk here in the SE quarter of Portland, OR. Another neighborhood walk is planned for today, a sunny day, timed with the baby's nap after a feeding, as she loves sleeping in the stroller on a jiggly walk. I love being a new grandma. It is helping me continue to accept my mother's death, in part because I am doing the things she did for me, when she came to help with both my babies. I am continuing a motherly tradition, and wearing my Mother Road hat to shield my blue eyes from the sun.

Baby Lola's eyes will probably be brown. Both parents have dark brown hair and brown eyes. But maybe not. Green eyes appear in Bret's family, and Lola currently has auburn hair. His grandpa had dark red hair. Wouldn't that be a delight? 

I had a poem accepted for the Claude Monet issue of Poetry East. It is, of course, a mother poem, as well as a Monet poem. It's titled "Bridge." I was gazing at lots of the "Bridge Over the Lily Pond" paintings and anticipating my mother's death. Right now I am simply gathering lines that come to me in my poetry composition notebook, brought along on the trip, along with my daily diary, a dream journal, and a tiny reading journal. I am reading and writing steadily, in snippets between baby holdings and diaper changes.

Lola's father is excellent at diaper changes and sleep swaddling. Here he is, and here she is, swaddled with a little white noise machine near her head. My daughter is doing well, healing, nursing, walking, creating new routines. She plans outings, so we have been to a park and a garden where we saw many ducks, a flock of geese that rose from a pond, circled it, and resettled, and a bald eagle in a treetop.

Another outing was to Doe Donuts, which I highly recommend if you go to Portland, a town well known for donuts as well as Powell's Books! We all loved the whipped-cream topped donuts called Portland Fog! Their logo has a sweet doe, but I don't have a picture of that. And while Doe Donuts doesn't love day-old donuts, I do. Another favorite was cranberry lime.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Peacock on the Roof


It's a beautiful day in Portland, Oregon, sunny, with bright fall leaves blowing down and gray clouds massing in the distance, after days of rain, and that's a peacock on the roof. I came here to help my daughter have a baby, and that has indeed happened. A beautiful baby named Lola, 8 lbs, 12 oz, 22 inches long. So far, she likes to sleep in the daytime and keep her parents awake from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., like lots of babies who sleep while the mother is active by day and kick around nocturnally. I am happy to hold this baby and stare at her. The activity that rocked her to sleep in the womb included a daily neighborhood walk that I got to do with the family a couple times before the birth, and that's where the peacocks come in. Just as there is a flock of wild turkeys back at home, or trail turkeys, since they walk the Constitution Trail as well as the neighborhoods, here there is a flock of wild peacocks. Or you might say a pride of peacocks, a muster of peacocks, or an ostentation of peacocks. Although these local peacocks are quite modest and unostentatious. Shortly after getting this picture through my son's window, I got to witness this one fly gently down to earth.

Then time stood still, as they say, suspended itself, and we had days of labor in a hospital room. The baby was born, and then my mother died, as if she had been waiting for the baby to come into the world before she went out of it.