i cut daybreak into orange slices
that spill sweet between my fingers,

she breathes feather pillows
in her own bed,
fresh made peanut butter scent&
hum of an electric tooth brush

last night,
between dirty clothes & costa rican coffee
i sat with her on the carpet,
trying to play the panpipe she brought from her trip

“did you cry?” i ask
“yeah, when i realized that i would be stuck
at miami airport another day/night
with few dollars left, pre-paid phone card almost empty,
no free wireless access, no possibility

to contact–”
“hey, you ok?”
an australian woman leans down
“mom, she was so nice, i told her about the flight delay,
we talked Sydney, studying–
when she said good-bye to catch her flight
she left me 20 dollars”
“wow, that was very kind”

then my daughter lay down, worn out
in a corner at the airport,
bag under her head/jacket on the floor

while i biked to work
while i showered
while i sat all day in meetings
biked back, ate,
tried to get some money on her credit card
went to bed, tossing/turning,
checked my phone//again//
no answer–

“she’s in london”
“thank god”

i pour coffee
in the morning’s open palm,
shake my pillow, ripe with peach &oat flakes
from a mountain tower
& a bunch of little kids sled cheering
up the rainbow

in the other room,

in her sleep
she holds the panpipe in her hand

& breathes

& breathes

with soft pursed lips


today at dVerse, we write emotions without naming them… doors open at 3pm EST..


72 responses to “53hours

  1. What a relief to have her back home again, Claudia. I read your fear and her tiredness in this poem, and they I read the relief for both of you when she was back home again & I also read the tiredness. I spent a night in an airport once. Really not fun, and also VERY cold. Neat story about the panpipe.

  2. I can feel the mother’s relief in your poem, Claudia! It looks as if this was a very trying and tiring trip for you too. From the way she is sleeping I guess your daughter is glad to be home after such a long journey back home.

  3. Wow, you did this so well, expressed so many emotions via imagery and verbal illustration. So glad your baby is back home safe and sound!

  4. Been there, done that … a few times … waiting and sleeping in airports, I mean … Heathrow is the worst ever … Frankfurt is good … Schiphol is lovely … although flying KLM really stinks …the food is terrible and their armrests don’t fold all the way up … travel stories, eh? … but always happy ending … glad to read about your happy ending … enjoy your daughter … lovely write, C 🙂 Always, cat.

  5. Oh, I can sure relate to this. Any mother can. Glad your daughter was ok.

    Just popping in again. Still not blogging and missing it. Hope you’re well.

  6. I’m relieved as well she is safe and probably home by now ~ I can feel your anxiety as you go through your day, but at the back of your mind, its always the safety of your daughter ~ Specially like the opening verse, cutting daybreak like orange slices ~

  7. A wonderful sharing, a touching poetic foray within unnamed emotional tides; a perfect representation of your dVerse prompt; always a joy to pop over to your pad & let the perfect poetry paddle my butt.

  8. What a sweet and total picture of a mother’s love. Sometimes I picture you living in a kind of tree house Claudia, isn’t that strange? Not always idyllic, but wrapped in life, joy, and love. That’s you!

  9. What a lovely anecdote – so glad your daughter found a helpful person at the airport!
    And the orange and coffee imagery – two of the most delightful, comforting smells in the world – a harbour of safety and love.

  10. London is not a safe place to be at the moment. I hope she stays indoors. We are smogged out and it is really hard to walk outside.
    You’ll be so happy when they are both back home again. Growing up is painful for both generations at times.

  11. There’s all sorts of emotion peppered in this: tension, relief, a mother’s love, a daughter’s fear. Glad it worked out and I’m sure it was a growing experience for her.

  12. Oh my. That is so wrenching to have your kid where you can’t reach them or help them–it’s best for them to learn to weather these things, but it doesn’t make it any easier…;-)

  13. “she breathes feather pillows
    in her own bed,
    fresh made peanut butter scent&
    hum of an electric tooth brush”

    Amid the innovative stuff comes a vivid little scene. I love your poetry.

  14. You may have avoided stating the emotion Claudia but it came through clearly. Being stranded like that is very worrying as a parent. Excellent depiction of your worry and anxiety. Aren’t we Australians the loveliest of people.

  15. There are kind souls when one gets into a jam. It works wonders when one makes oneself to be a kind soul in good times to help others as it ‘ll turn around that one gets help when in trouble later on. Nicely Claudia!


  16. I don’t know which part I like the best..have to say the whole poem, for it rings so true to our nature as mothers (and fathers). I am so glad both girls are going to be home for awhile…for your own peace of mind

  17. Plenty of palpable emotions here, the worry, tension, gratefulness, relief, and all-is-finally-rightness. Some of the images struck me, especially “i cut daybreak into orange slices / that spill sweet between my fingers,” and “I pour coffee into the morning’s open palm.” Deftly painted!

  18. the fear of her making it home…the longing to have her make it home…def speaks to your love of her c….i hope you have a wonderful time with the girls home….i am sure you have plenty of catching up to do…

  19. Ah, this brought me to tears. I can’t imagine how you worried, and how scared and lonely she was.

    I am glad all’s well and your home is bustling with the familiar comforting scents that make all of us long for home. 🙂

  20. Ah, familiar scents and sounds… it’s amazing how all senses hone in on the familiar, like a favorite blanket or a comfortable pair of shoes… she is home, mom has tangible evidence of this, and life makes sense again. Loved, loved, loved this.

  21. Such tender rendering here, Claudia, the angst and relief of a worried mother captured in a few notes from those pan pipes, whose message, I guess, is that in nature everything is OK no matter what happens.

  22. oooo. I feel the separation in the orange slices, the phone call and story, in the tedious unending day with anxiety mounting–to feel so helpless (and unhelp-able) is my worst fear. The relief, too, is picture perfect. Love.

  23. We were all anxious for your daughter when reading your words, Claudia. Very successful recording of your worries in your own unique language.

  24. What an emotional roller coaster. I can only imagine the stress of wondering where she was and hoping she was okay. Glad she made it home safely.

  25. Miami airport–she could have called me!! I’m two hours away on scooter, a fun ride. (With some cash, bar of soap, and a towel, or whatever…

    Claudia, you get around this globe in three-word phrases. Racing thoughts, possibilities (emotional things?) in your head are in following three words. And SO WELL-worked, your “ordinary” day contrasted by your daughter’s “ordinary” day.
    So GOOD!

  26. You’ve captured so many emotions starting with the orange slices cutting day break. I can feel the anxiety and weariness of the heart.

  27. If you re-read Glen Butkuss’ comment, that pretty much sums up how I feel about this! I loved the way your poem followed up on earlier concerns of that last (long) leg of her trip. Even having never been a mother (except to beloved pets) I reallyreally feel your emotions here. Loved it, Claudia.

  28. beautiful writing, honing the moment closely. you’ve engaged all of the senses here. this vignette is a whole story where even the worry is held dear.

  29. Nice to have a happy ending. Yet again, I find your opening lines irresistible: i cut daybreak into orange slices
    that spill sweet between my fingers,

    Wow! 🙂

    Greetings from London.