Moving Day

First published as a trifold in June of 2003, when my wife was pregnant with our first child (who was born in October). I shared this trifold with attendees of the Haiku North America conference in New York City at the end of June in 2003. All of these poems were previously unpublished before appearing in this trifold, but many of them were later published elsewhere. Trifold cover illustration by my wife, Hiromi Welch. See also “Expecting.”

not yet pregnant—

her period begins

the day after New Year’s



moving day—

the coolness on my cheek

after your kiss



moving day—

I hold my breath

to hang the wind chime



moving day—

the emptiness

of the children’s room



your afternoon call

to tell me you’re pregnant—

dissipating fog



first doctor visit—

greening buds

on the just-planted maple



morning sickness—

the patter of spring rain

on our new roof



curved pine

next to the straight pine—

a gentle rain



first trimester—

sand from the sea shore

falls from your sweater



turning off war news

we replay

the ultrasound video



a red tulip petal

stuck to her muddy boots

she tells our friends she’s . . .



a stone in my right shoe—

we drive home more slowly

from the obstetrician’s



the cherry tree bare

with blossoms by its trunk—

an empty stroller




fear of miscarriage     end of war




second trimester—

waves in the shore reeds

rise an inch or two



second trimester—

our tulips drooping

over the weedy flower bed



home from today’s ultrasound,

we lift off the calendar

to mark October 9




second trimester     we name our cars




second trimester—

the stack of pregnancy books

getting larger



41st birthday—

my hand resting

on my wife’s belly










sorting dusty coins

I save the ones

from my birth year