Sophie's a Berkshire Idol contestant..and needs your votes!

So this kid of mine? The songbird? She made it to the Finals Round of Berkshire Idol, with this performance of "Someone Like You," below. Finals are this weekend, May 11th, at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA. But this week, online votes are also being tallied at! Yes, you have to create a username (boooo!) but I swear it's short and painless (yaaaaay!). Will you help a kid get her rock star on? CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP AND VOTE!

At Finals, Sophie will be taking on "Somebody to Love" by Queen. OH YES. Tall order, but she's going for it. I'll post that soon too. In the meantime, thank you for all the AMAZING support, and please do consider voting once a day this week for our favorite Berkshire Idol (who still needs to be reminded to clean her room, but hey, rock stars are supposed to be messy, right?).

The reason I love spring

​Beloved Sophie Mary Rose, at 4:09 am today, you will be 12 years old. Twelve. A dozen. I can no longer hold out my hands and say YOU ARE THIS MANY, and neither can you, come to think of it, although you might try to, with some concoction of your odd double-jointed digits.

​Sophie, my firstborn, you were four pounds at birth and the doctors were solemn about your prognosis.


A simple no

This morning:
the first reason I've ever had to love spring
asks me if she can borrow the nondescript hoodie
once worn by the peep-toeing songstress of
my won't-tell soul.

We are talking:
thin gray slubbed cloth belonging to
my grocery-store savior, my ridiculous
avocado-mash seductress, my star-spun
tangle with a little thing called beauty, 
my once-and-only simple and complete.

Just so you know:
This hoodie would not sell on eBay.
Relist? No. Reenlist? Maybe, in that
dreamy world of if that then this.

Borrow it:
Springtime child knows my answer before she asks.
But she asks anyway, to prove a point to herself.
She is a tornado coiling into itself, compressing into
blurred, indignant loops, no sense of up or down.  

Fine, all you had to say was no. A simple no.

Away she whirls, in search of a hoodie unwoven by
winter threads of a mother's tedious memory.
I wonder how long it will be until this child of spring
learns that there is no such thing 
as a simple no.

America's Top Model uses Wee-Wee pads

Isabella Cosette Flora Wilhelmina von Matternhaus recently snagged the opportunity to model for the absolutely amazing renowned pet photographer Amanda Jones. I am awfully lucky to call Amanda my friend and creative collaborator. If you ever want to give an extraordinary gift to yourself (or someone else in love with a dog), book a session with her. (She'll even come to your neck of the woods.)

Isabella the Italian Greyhound, in her beloved ratty skull sweater, February 2013.

Isabella the Italian Greyhound, in her beloved ratty skull sweater, February 2013.

It's the only way to be

You live for love, don't you, said the friend.
I don't remember what I said, but I know
at once I recalled Judit, who had offered
her delicate tattooed forearm to me
as if she were offering tea and scones.  
Auschwitz, Birkenau, Hessisch Lichtenau—
she'd come through, somehow,
unbowed and unbroken and
radiant with the rarest kindness, born only
from the unimaginable.

When I traced the cruel inked numerals
steeped in her rice paper skin I wept.
She smiled and hushed me gently.
Which one do you play?
she asked me.

We were thespians then, a new show
in Portland, Maine, resistance fighters
of the Holocaust, my hair shorn
to a half-inch. Which one are you?
she repeated. Guess, I had said.
One look into my eyes, sad despite
so very much luck, such fortune
(and those were the happy times). 

You are the young lover, are you not?
Yes. I can see it. You, the beautiful 
young lover. I can tell. 
One of the other
actors spoke then: She's our own
Isabella Rossellini. 

Judit sighed. Ah, to be the lover.
She patted my cheek,
touched my lips with trembling hand.
It's the only way to be.

Daily news

Last night Sir James came upstairs for the first time. In life, his bad hips prevented him from making the climb. At bedtime, I gently carried his floral tin of ashes to my room and set him by the bed. I placed one smooth black stone from Iceland on the tin.

You don't come around

You don't come around,
she says 
over her basket of clean laundry
below the horizon of clothesline 
and rose gold. She doesn't know
what tone to take anymore so 
her fingers do the talking now,
sifting through her apron pocket
of wooden clothespin soldiers.