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Vacation poems. Phone-it-in poems? We’ve been busy today. I took my niece on a solo shopping trip and solidified my position as favorite aunt ever. Then we did some kiddo beach time, which is really just a big patch of sand in the marina on the bay, but it is good for little ones. Then we met up with some great friends from grad school and though we haven’t been able to hang out in three years, it feels the same as it did circa 2005. All good and poemworthy stuff.

Plus, since the last time I’ve visited Planet California, it seems that this area, this resort-y, yacht-y area, has become much more diverse. I saw a Copt and and his family walking near the sea wall, and heard Farsi, Spanish of several sorts, Russian, Belarussian, Armenian, and some languages I couldn’t identify.  We passed an outdoor bar with a bat or bar mitzvah band playing a song with the chorus “shalom, shalom, shalom”, and saw some Muslim girls on bikes dancing to that song outside, and they weren’t mocking, they were really just having fun, or maybe even demonstrating in a way.  It’s fun, and weird, to be here in this land of clean and fancy cars (like, really, people with nice cars keep them much cleaner than we keep our 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee).

I guess, maybe, a boardwalk poem? I’m gonna try, and then get ready to vacation again tomorrow. The niece said today, “vacation is when we vacate our worries”. She’s nine, and she is awesome.

Vacate this Worry: A Poem for Elizabeth

While my husband and his father go morbid into inheritance and tax law, and I try not listen, I summon the words of the porcelain Elizabeth, and vacate these worries. Out with the grades and drizzle and yesterday’s fears of contagion and the runny noses of little girls, and the slurry of newsfeeds and politics, out with the talk of income and death, abandon the resentment of our differing politics to the surf and the place where I stand with the feet fullslipping from beneath my feet in the sand.

On my sweet nieces command I relinquish this guilt, a vacationer’s guilt in this world full of monied flesh, I give it all to the saltwater that stings my eyes, I give it up and for this week, and this week only, I will be a vacationer. Lucky me.

Let that niggling thought, that I am part of the problem, let it vacate me now. i’ll be silly and buy cotton candy for small beings, and do the family thing. We gaze upon palms and big boats and listen to my father-in-law talk numbers and values, and my daughter talks to everyone she hears speak a language she can’t hear in the north.

He, the man on the the not-so-near-but-encroaching-threshold-of-eternity keeps talking about if anything happens, if anything happens, and his worry is the same, and all I can think is “it will”, but for now I choose the specific fish smell that is different from rivers, and I choose this buoyed life for this week and this week only, for this week,

I will vacate this worry.


okay. This poem got hijacked by this weird conversation going on  between my husband and my father-in-law and my brother-in-law and I don’t have a private space to poem tonight. Ugh. I hate it. Oh, well. Happy Sunday, poemfriends.