If I could I would (poem)

If I could I would

Turn myself into a barn swallow
swooping, diving, and gliding
with ease-speed-grace
between the highs and lows

Unencumbered by words
that never appeared on a screen
or fears manifested beyond
the barnyard cat

My fragility then sealed within
the delicate space marrying my
feathers tethered to my trussed bones
and not in this clunky worn tough heart

If I could I would
turn myself into a barn swallow
racing with ease-speed-grace
to my strong love turned safely
into a warm and familiar nest.


This poem I wrote to Shrek a few weeks ago after a rough spot that started when I said something, or he said something, or I didn’t say something or he didn’t say something the other wanted or needed to read on a text message of all things. Since then I believe we’ve committed to NEVER using a text screen to process a tough moment. Then we did it at least two more times. We like to research what doesn’t work over and over again sometimes.

Yesterday we interviewed our first couples therapist. Not because we are in crisis. Quite the opposite. Because between our seven kids, and over 100 years of living we’ve accumulated some material we might need some help navigating on occasion. Blending these families, and the two of our independent life styles, and all of our expectations and needs and hopes and fears feels a little like arriving at a construction site for a luxury hotel and all of us brought our own building material, architects, time lines, and safety concerns. Marcel is probably picturing a knight’s castle, and Sam is all ready to build an Olympic stadium. How about you? Have you ever gone to couples counseling? Are you considering it? Did it help? How about a little poll to spice things up here on Mama C today? If you are not in a couple–you could answer in terms of individual or family therapy too.


  1. your poem is very beautiful, it touches me. I wish all couples could have couples therapy, and that our culture accepted that partnership is difficult and we all need all the help we can get.

  2. I think that this is a great idea, as we talked about breifly on twitter the other night. I wish that we had done this when my husband and I combined households. My husband as a single dad, and myself as a single mom, had a few issues letting each other help one another. Over the years it’s gotten easier, but I sincerely think this would have benefited us during that time.

  3. Thank you for blogging! I’m a new foster mother, and a single mother, and trying to conceive by donor on top of that. What an adventure! It’s great to find more of “us”.

  4. C-I love this poem.
    It is truly a dance we do in these relationships.
    I enjoyed reading your thoughts.
    Also, thanks for your help the other day!

  5. Beautiful poem! And my hubby and I have gone to couple’s counseling a couple of times – not because we were in crisis but because we felt “stuck.” I am a therapist myself so I believe that seeking therapy BEFORE you get to the point of crisis is key. Sometimes a fresh perspective and some new tools in communication are what you need. And, yeah, no heavy conversations over text, lol! Good luck to you!

Leave a Reply