Loving Myself at 45

Poetry for Sunday

Photo by Elijah Hail on Unsplash

Hell yes, I will come on your yoga and meditation retreat. 
I will meet you where I meet myself. 
I will sing loudly on the way up the mountain. 
Yes I am of Generation X. 
I still know all of Dark Side of the Moon by heart.

I am still growing up. It’s fun, remember? 
It’s also great to go nowhere be seen by no one answer to no one. 
I will listen to NPR and my books on tape, 
and I will stop to think and forget to get going again. 
Yes, turning into my mother (still) wild and earthy hippie she is.

I will laugh about the permanent bruise on my hip 
because where is my body in space? 
Where are we anyway?

I will dance with my child and sip coffee and fill in the boxes. crossword and Sudoku. bliss. leisure.

I cannot sit still just like my 5th graders. I need to hold a fidget spinner. My brain at times won’t stop. I will pull at the weeds and not plant anything this year. The garden will volunteer tomatoes. And maybe a pumpkin.

There is a cardinal. Home for a while. 
I will walk and walk even though my arch hurts and my heel hurts and I stretch beyond what I thought possible.
That adjustment in me has yet to come.

I am bold. I speak my mind. I am hard on myself. And then I am not. I get lazy then busy then I just cannot deal with the world.

I love the routine but I want a shake up. 
I am still that girl on the train. 
Running that race, swimming the lake, learning guitar. 
Singing and singing with all my heart.

I am still losing my tent at a music festival. 
I am still playing house too soon.
I am dancing in a light up hula hoop in my wedding dress. 
I am still lost and totally and completely one hundred percent myself.

And love. I love. I love you so much.


© Samantha Lazar 2019

Thank you for reading. My name is Samantha. I teach 5th graders everything from Language Arts to How to Be a Good Human. I also teach creative writing classes, workshops, and lessons. I still want to be a writer when I grow up.

For Even the Drowning

Poetry/Free Verse

Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

this. here.
a table to be refinished.
a repurposed can from 
the plum tomatoes
you bought for Saucy Saturday.

it could never have been
without that lack of oxygen
I don’t mean that the air was thin
it was, of course.
two people sharing the same view
at 14,000 feet sometimes
look out over different vistas.

I appreciate the emptiness of that hike
grateful for even the loss of you.

our son’s imitation Kandinsky
from first grade
concentric circles in a frame
our child’s presentation, as artist

his wooden flute
his bathtub songs
our child growing
and named on the beach 
in Tofino, remember?

grateful for even the scar
on my bone
I’ve got one of those seer aches
yes, we both feel the rain coming
yes, for even the emergency room.

your hand in mine
pulling each other 
back down from Russian Hill
I told you there was no need
for a diamond, but there it was.

the summer we kissed
northern lights
a dream over our heads
grateful for even the drowning
the loss of you
surfacing and surfacing
through my days.

our life

our child growing up
our growing old 
your warm body
reminding me
to let go of such losses
that led me to you.


© Samantha Lazar 2019

Thank you for reading. You may also enjoy:Dig In and Get to Know the Authors You Follow
Resurface Their Old Works and Find Goldmedium.com
Poetry for Pennies
Don’t Give Up My Beautiful Poets!medium.com

Jealous Old Man

A Poem

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

your official statement
on this issue
your seething
gas-lighting
comedy act
obscene and vile
as if your actual 
chastisement 
gains anything
you are not her teacher
her grandfather 
her anything

try humility on for size
say the words
well done!
congratulations!
genius!
the youth will save us!
I want to strive to be you when I grow up!
you are a role model for generations to come!
what an inspiration!
listen to the children!

yet she is another flick of ash
in your way 
discarded and discounted
disqualified by you
a bug on the windshield
a little girl on a swing set

she’s got her eye on you
your criticism crying and complaining
for a half a second
before casting you into the ocean
some debris to steer around
for better things to do with her time


Samantha Lazar 2019

Twinkle Toes

Twinkle Toes

A Song

Photo by Frances Gunn on Unsplash

My mom has a cat named Twinkle Toes.
She arrived one day, and our barn she chose
The dogs are obsessed with wherever she goes
She’s the sweetest cat, I do suppose

I chose this rhyme instead of prose
to relay some facts not everyone knows
On each back foot she has six toes
And on each front leg, two paws to pose

I’ve seen winter rain bring rainbows
And forgotten plantings bloom a rose
But I’ve never met a cat who knows
The magic more than Twinkle Toes

© Samantha Lazar 2007

Sabotaging Section


Sabotaging Section

A Poem

Photo by Rob Laughter on Unsplash

take your seats
the lights are low
plenty of space behind the curtain
it is a curation desert
an empty gallery

that’s art? 
you ask
you like to push time
so what did you do 
Saturday Squanderer
he said, practice this chord
until your fingers bleed

like learning to whistle
she said, you might pass out
through your fingers
more air, less tongue
mean it
make it echo
to call the dogs off the mountain
to hope they don’t come home
skunked again
or worse, quill-nosed
or not at all

find a rock 
so you can brag about 
your ability to manifest
crystals
imposter on a trail
what was it all for

you won’t go through 
that velvet opening
your hands are too tired
for the heaviness
of that drapery
or for what the audience
might not see


©Samantha Lazar 2019

Thank you for reading. Here are some more poems by Samantha Lazar.The Risk to Love
A Poemmedium.com
Fallow Years (Parts 1 and 2)
A Poemmedium.com

Today


Today

A Poem

Photo by John Noonan on Unsplash

rain threatens to freeze
it is the kind of day
wanderers won’t land
the unsettled tethered
to the wind
or the train

I could have molded my life
with the red clay 
of her grave
the dry crumbling 
stone and dust
heavy on a fairy tale box

I could have given time
I didn’t feel apt to give
to know her light 
truer than the shine
of her children’s shine
but we busy our lives

what is important now
the decades do what they
will before we are even 
awake to our memories
even as rain drenches
words of winter


Samantha Lazar 2019

That’s my grief today. May all who suffer know peace.

Why Do I Write?


Why Do I Write?

The Magical Sensory Experience of Being Alive

Photo by Rachel Lynette French on Unsplash

“Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?”

― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life


Why am I a writer?

If I could spend most of my days writing, in chosen isolation, I probably would. But why? (And why can’t I? That is a different topic for another time).

Today I am going to explore a few of the many of the reasons why I write.


I write to begin.

To prepare the garden bed, I must weed. I must pull and dig, clear away death and debris, find who made a home among the thistles, and encourage them to leave. I must turn over the earth and find the deep-rooted and stubborn weeds, as even in their home’s destruction, they will still find a way to hoard the nutrients.

In this preparation, I find the tree frog and the praying mantis. I find what grasses will cut my fingers in my unwillingness to wear garden gloves. I am surprised by the snake and the orb-weaver and the wonderment of their gorgeous markings. I am forced to look at what went untended, in order to clear for the new.

Writing is like this. Even when not putting pen to page or fingers to keys, writing is like this.

I write to witness, document, and honor being alive.

Writing is a magical, sensory experience. Through writing I organize and remember, manifest, and connect. I can hear harmony in the humming of the street lights. I am aware of the shift in the seasons, a winter hint in summer or an autumn glimpse in spring. I see more in people’s eyes. I can tell when someone hasn’t had the turn to speak, or when a voice has not been heard. I have become an empath, for better or worse. I have turned around a corner to smell the ghost of my grandfather, gone some 30 years.

I write to access my emotions.

I fear my own rage and my deepest trauma of sorrow. To surface these parts of me, at times I fear, would rattle the house and crack the earth wide open. My expression of my emotions do not actually have that much power, but they are pushed away regardless. But in writing, I can feel them safely. A character, a poetic phrase, a memory twisted into metaphor can bring tears and trembling. I can access the childhood sadness and the immense joy of simply being alive. To write is to live. To live is write. Writing is the breath and heartbeat of my wildest and most basic needs.

I write to read.

I often remind my students to read like a writer and write like a reader. This doesn’t always make sense to them. I think about the human experience: real, known, unconscious, and nebulous. When I am writing and thus reading, I look for the many ways people experience life. In the communication of our shared journey, we are not alone.

I write to read how you, the writer, might have lived through loss, shame, victory, darkness, evil, and redemption. I read to write about how I have lived through decisions, parenthood, eating disorders, anxiety, deep love, consistency, mental illness, loss, debt, sorrow, confusion, and awakening. I write and read to honor writers and all of the common and strange ways we are human.

Why do you, dear readers, write?

Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič – @specialdaddy on Unsplash

© Samantha Lazar 2019

Thank you for reading. Here are some links to previous work:Cut Yourself Open (And Let Your Writing Heal You)
What locked boxes are hidden deep in your closet?medium.com
My Personal Philosophy of Education
My Educational Philosophymedium.com

Prognosis Always Anger

A Poem

Photo by Michael Shannon on Unsplash

when Cancer, you get cancer
we won’t light the night
our funds will be exhausted 
you won’t have the will to fight

when Cancer, you get cancer 
no beautiful replacement hair will fit
no meal trains will be arranged
no prayers on lips will sit

no rides to the treatment center
no hook ups to the medical weed
no morphine button to pretend to
think your body’s freed

no experimental trial to try
no one will mourn your life not lived
no trucks to find a match for you
no donations will we give

when Cancer, you get cancer
it will rot your ever dreams
we won’t be there to fear you
or your gasping pleading screams

your orphans will never join you
no colored ribbons we will tie
no standing room only funeral
and no one, no one

will cry.


© Samantha Lazar 2019

The Risk to Love

A Poem

Photo by Toufic Mobarak on Unsplash

the games we played
the dance we stepped
the deepened laughs we
raised

the oceans’ crests
the candles’ lights
the days we lived with
grace

the pain we numbed
the hope embraced
the fear we gave a 
name

the poison’s blood
the marrow’s gold
the chance we chose to
take

the lovers’ risks
the mothers’ eyes
the dreams wish to be
awake

the choice to love
the life to lose
the spark will never
fade


© Samantha Lazar 2019

Author’s note: This is the beginning of my thoughts on this. Yesterday, the world lost another beautiful person to cancer. I will miss my friend Grace, who was a shining light to so many people. She had the most courage and strength of anyone I have ever known. And as a former teacher of both her children, I will stand protector of them, even if from afar, forever.

Under Mars

Thoughts About Thoughts About Thoughts

Photo by Martin Widenka on Unsplash

You go to the kitchen anxious. This is no way to greet your husband and the coffee he just made. But there it is. It’s almost sunrise. You cannot place your worry, and so it lingers in a physical need. You wrap your arms around his body sideways. He turns to you and wraps you into his chest. Fridge door light on you both, his hand releases the half and half.

What’s wrong?

He knows you. He knows your answer will be that you don’t know what’s wrong. Nothing is wrong. Everything is wrong. He’s on to you. He knows that you have been awake for a while. He knows that unconsciously you made a decision you might regret. Or not. It doesn’t need to be decided now. He isn’t psychic. You have patterns. He caught you still dreaming.

You both do the counting on your fingers and the deep breath you exhale. This exercise comes from the book you brought home to read with your son. You are worried that your son worries too much so this is a book about kids with anxiety. You know you brought this book home for yourself, too. You try the gratitude.

I’m grateful for you and for peanut butter and jelly.

He was in the middle of packing your child’s lunchbox. You sound silly to yourself, always the harshest judge. So you add intellectual silliness.

It’s just an amazing combination of flavors.

Your worries were there a minute ago. What was wrong? Hadn’t you been spinning since 4:30 or so? Is that the time the SSRI begins waning? Maybe you should up the meds. Maybe you should blame Mars for being so intense in your chart. Maybe blame the constant government chatter, the nothing that is being done, the injustice, your social media show and tell, is it enough? is it too much? The bills to pay late.

You know what will help you. Coffee.

And writing.


© Samantha Lazar 2019

Thank you readers! Here are some links to some of my earlier writings:Called by the Magistrate
A Poem Masquerademedium.com
Visions of Patching
A Memoir in Versemedium.com