I went with my girl friends to see “It’s Complicated” last night.  We laughed and laughed, louder than almost everyone else.  It was complicated.  It was about divorce, of course, but also about children moving out and women moving on, and it was very upbeat about that.  I’ve been remembering how happy I was before I had children, and telling myself that there is no reason why I should not be happy after they have stopped living here all the time.  I am sad, thinking about it, but resolved to look on the bright side too.

In the summer I went to hear Sharon Olds read this poem.  I got her to sign the book with it in, on this page, for my two daughters, but really for me.

High School Senior (from The Wellspring)

For seventeen years, her breath in the house
at night, puff, puff, like summer
cumulus above her bed,
and her scalp smelling of apricots
–this being who had formed within me,
squatted like a bright tree-frog in the dark,
like an eohippus she had come out of history
slowly, through me, into the daylight,
I had the daily sight of her,
like food or air she was there, like a mother.
I say “college,” but I feel as if I cannot tell
the difference between her leaving for college
and our parting forever–I try to see
this house without her, without her pure
depth of feeling, without her creek-brown
hair, her daedal hands with their tapered
fingers, her pupils dark as the mourning cloak’s
wing, but I can’t. Seventeen years
ago, in this room, she moved inside me,
I looked at the river, I could not imagine
my life with her. I gazed across the street,
and saw, in the icy winter sun,
a column of steam rush up away from the earth.
There are creatures whose children float away
at birth, and those who throat-feed their young
for weeks and never see them again. My daughter
is free and she is in me–no, my love
of her is in me, moving in my heart,
changing chambers, like something poured
from hand to hand, to be weighed and then reweighed.