Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
8-year-old Buddha


On a walk
With my 8-year-old daughter,
All she can speak of
Is what happens next.
"Live in the moment," I say.
"You're missing right now.
Take me, for example,
I'm enjoying the sunshine,
Watching the people,
And thinking about
What a nice lunch we'll have."
"Ha," she says,
"That's in the future!"
Humbled and delighted
By her grasp of my meaning,
I say "Good point, I'll try again.
I'm thinking how lovely it is
To walk in the sunshine
Holding my daughter's hand."
"Ha," she says,
Dropping my hand.
"That's in the past!"

Jill Rosenthal is a writer of poetry, fiction, personal essays, screenplays, and film reviews whose work has appeared in Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, The Berkeley Voice, and previous issues of Literary Mama. She taught poetry at UC Berkeley and currently works with at-risk teens through a spoken poetry program called Get Lit. You can find a collection of her humorous essays at Woman On The Verge, and view her public performance of an original essay about trying to explain sex to an 8-year-old here: “Avoiding Penetration.” When Jill is not writing, she is practicing law in Los Angeles, California, where she lives with her daughter, Shelby Rose.

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Well written, Mom. Well played,daughter!
Love it!! Sounds just like my daughter!!
I LOVE THIS so sweet, so perfect, so love your daughter! XO
Lovely poem.
Love! Now, in the future ....and the past :)
Beautiful and funny! So insightful.
Congrats Jill! I loved that poem when I first heard it and it's wonderful to see your writing out in the world!
What a delightful poem! Just terrific!
This poem could be an ancient Chinese Proverb. There are many lessons hidden in its simple story. You must be the Dalai Mama
I absolutely LOVE it!!!! I also just watched the "Avoiding Penetration" YouTube link in the info box. It is so hilarious and enlightening. You're absolutely amazing. Keep writing please!
I love it! Very visual and very internal at the same time! It awakens both worlds:-)
Nice work (keeping it close to home)!
This is beautiful Jill!
the brilliance of this sweet piece is in this smile it's plastered on my face! love this this poet. more from her please, dear publisher...encore, encore
Destined to be a classic. I read it to my 6-year old son and it sparked a wonderful conversation about enjoying the moment. We spend our whole lives working to 'be here now'. Such a simple concept, but so tricky too. What an incredibly important life lesson for a Mom to introduce to her (clever, precocious) daughter.
Sweet! They're always one (or more) steps ahead of us!
What a great reminder of how our kids one-up us constantly. And it's just what we wanted all along.
A wonderful story, beautifully written!
Oh, yeah . . . you have the gift, all right. You not only see it, but you tell it like only you can.
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