Call and Response

I wanted to write something new
something daring so you would think
I went out with a bang,
that I ended with a song.

But this is not the end
and there is no bang, this is no song,
forcing meaning on to the page
stops the flow of words.

I began this trip back from silence
with a splash on the page;
small at first, it spread
until it touched each day.

And now though I write for me
I see I also write for you
I write my feelings out
I rise to the occasion
I join the conversation.




Unfettered: The story of an evolving relationship

It has been many, many years since my son stayed overnight at his father’s. Many years since I’ve trusted my ex enough to let him have our son more than the allotted five hours. Many years since I’ve referred to my child as “ours” and meant someone other than my current husband. In fact, he hasn’t stayed overnight there since I won full custody, reduced access to five hours every two weeks and changed my son’s last name to mine. That was all five years ago. Half my son’s life ago.

It hasn’t even been very long that my son has been seeing his father, this time around. After mostly two years of his father being unreliable and absent, my son decided he had no interest in seeing him either. It was only Father’s Day 2015 that my son asked to see him again following eight months of unexplained refusal.

While I don’t know what changed my son’s mind, I can say that as far as my ex goes, things have vastly improved ever since February when he and his partner had a baby. I wouldn’t say I fully trust him – people don’t change – but I don’t feel terror at the thought of our son staying with him anymore, and that’s saying something. For now, he’s in a better place in his life and his mind and  I can’t really justify refusing to let our son stay with him. In fact, it was me who started involving him more in our son’s life again. I even organized this weekend for both of them.

I hope he doesn’t prove me wrong. I hope he doesn’t fall apart while our son is still a child, still vulnerable.

As awful as things were at their worst – lies, drinking, stealing, erratic behaviour – when he’s stable, my ex is charming, fun and able to run a business and a house. He can be a warm, relaxed person. They bond over a shared love of soccer and their shared experience on this earth, however limited it has been.

I’m happy about that. I hope that it will continue. It’s good for our son to feel unconflicted between both parents, to feel he can go back and forth between both households without incident. To spend time with both of us – and his new sister.

So, at the very early hour of 8:00 am Saturday, I packed him off for a day and a half.

My son is my heart and soul, just as much a part of me as my own limbs. Yet, he is also the independent person I have taught him to be. He is able to stand on his own, speak up for himself, and go off and do things and make his own way – the way of an only child. At 8 years old, he chose to go to sleepaway camp for 26 nights straight and he did just fine (survivable homesickness aside). He flies alone to visit his grandparents in Toronto. He walks into all sorts of situations on his own, introduces himself and gets involved. So though we’re very close and I miss him, I know he’s ok away from home.

Still, when it comes to his father, I worry. And it’s more than the man himself. There’s so much all parties invest in a parental relationship, so many hopes and expectations. Especially one as complex and fraught as this one.

It doesn’t help that I’m naturally anxious and a worrier.

I must have kept myself sanely busy, though, because here I am now, about to go pick him up.

I’m surprised to find myself looking forward to hearing all about the house, his new sister, his time with the other part of his family. I don’t feel the expected pang of regret or sadness or even fear. I just want him to be happy, to have had the weekend he was looking forward to. And I’m sure he did.

It is so much easier to abandon the angst, fear and outrage, to leave the bad of the past in the past and, while still watching out for my son, finally move forward, unfettered.

The Zodiac Awakes

At daybreak, we rise and shake
the slumber from the storm clouds;
morning overtook the night and now gawks
awkwardly over grey lake, opaque
with mist descended, remaking
starlit scene into sombre smoke-
lined beach, streaked, shroud-like;
the scene soaks in the mystique of this
moment, eking out meaning from
what was just our gods’ talk – gods’ play.
Don’t make the mistake, don’t seek substance
where there exists only the weak ache
of the everyday.


With thanks for the inspiration from today’s prompt at Quickly (and thanks to Jennifer for leading me there).

Rain Dance

Children don’t fear the rain.

“It’s going to rain a lot today!” I call after my son who is in the process of jumping on his bike to head off to school.

“So?” And he’s gone.

I was the same, if I think about it. In galloshes and slicker, I splashed and sloshed and jumped to my heart’s content.

Umbrella overhead, I listened to the beat of a million tiny drums, and danced along.

Playing giant to the stick towns I built in the mud – March’s snow and ice and meltwater was best – I blocked up the streams and watched the great flood.

I waded in lakes up to the tops of my boots, just to see if I could.

I turned my face up to the sky, closed my eyes and, laughing, was refreshed.


If we are not made of sugar what do we fear?

Today, when nothing else would clear the cobwebs, when I need refreshing more than I need to sit still, I, childlike, headed out to the puddles.

I turned my face skyward once more and let the rain wash away all my cares.

Out there, far from grey office and buzzing screen, out there, I stopped thinking and just was.

I was part of Nature.

I was part of Outside.

I was refreshed.



I can’t promise this will be the last one about the rain. I’m inspired!