Poems by Dave Jarecki

 Talking Earth Anthology:   Dave Jarecki

Dave Jarecki owns Breakerboy Communications, a writing firm that helps businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations communicate through story. He facilitates writing workshops throughout the Greater Portland area. His fiction, non-fiction and poetry have appeared in a number of journals and publications. He and his wife Courtney live in NE Portland with their baby daughter, Lazadae,  and Dave has been writing a lot about parenthood.







I hope you think of me as that guy

with the warm chest you slept on for hours

your first night alive in room 2506

of Emanuel’s family wing, but I hope

I never remind you of that, Lazadae. When

you’re 16 and steal a knife from the mall

kiosk because your mother used to steal things

like that when she was 16 and you have

petty thrill-based theft in your genes,

I hope I don’t remind you about your birth,

how your mother labored three days at home

until your bowels began to empty inside her. We drove


in dark quiet to the hospital where she was

numbed then splayed open on the surgical slab,

her bladder pushed aside so two rubbered hands

could thumb you out and away from all you knew.
You were upside down from how you should have been,

breech, wanting to enter the world with your toes

in your mouth. I hope I don’t tell you that the surgeon

handed you off under white lights to a woman

who was not your mother who scrubbed the blue

from your skin as we gave you the name


your mother created one morning when you

were just a splitting cell after she dreamt

of lasagna. Lazadae. The name waited for you

in the OR, stained my lips red as I said it and you cried

first breaths. When people ask you about the name,

tell a story all your own. Flex your wild thumbs,

talk of unicorns, forest nymphs. If you shorten your name,

Lazadae, I hope you do better than some

text-generation keypunch, but I hope you don’t care

what I hope, and I hope I don’t care you don’t care.

I hope you bloom into a creature 


beyond your mother and me, that your legs

grow long, your eyes speak poems, your mind is quick

to question. I hope your whole generation

of upside-down children bury the nails of war, burn

all currency until you achieve a clan of rarefied vision. 

But don’t try to do any of that if you wish to blend.

Stick gum in your hair. Sleep with your batting gloves on.

Find love before you’re old enough to know it hurts.


Hear the songs in the sway of leaves and know

that the sound you make as you feed at your mother

is music, your mother’s voice melody, that I am merely

a flute, and that you, Lazadae, are the wind, the drum,

the rhythm of new hot blood.


For the Daughters



Your daughter rubs salve on her nipples raw

from feeding her daughter in the window ten hours

staring swept in calm. Her daughter


was inside you, tucked in one of your daughter’s eggs

when your daughter was tucked inside you. And you

are inside your daughter and her daughter’s


smile, their far away stares when eyes tilt off

from where they look. Your daughter’s mind lifts

to the tree line as her daughter


at the breast wonders if all that is made of light

is made for her or was it here before when the light

was still blue. And your daughter


seeing this light sees herself kneeling on knees

like yours, picking crawdads from the stream with you

behind the house where mother bears


nurse cubs. Remember you told your daughter once

to leave her bottle outside because the bears’ daughters


needed bottles? And she did. She switches breasts now,

shifts her daughter who takes what is sweet

and stares through the yard where the stream runs.




The path to the beach is too steep for my parents 

to walk. We drive and park near a ramp. 

My mother can’t find the buckle

under her hip to get free. She feels the weather in her hips, 

says the north coast is too wet. 

My father upfront winces at the fog, rubs his knees 

against the dash. I ask if they’ll walk the ramp with me 

to the sand. We’ll collect rocks and leave. 

My mother wants to stay in the car. 

She’s halfway through a Sudoku block and says 

it’s too cold out there. 

My father says a beach is a beach and besides, 

if I want sand just put my ear to his knees. 

They crackle like caked gears. 

I bend toward his leg. He asks if I can hear the sand. 








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