To defeat racism, send your white children to public school.

I’ve had it with school choice. Speaking as a white mother of two, I am convinced the most profound thing we can do to defeat racism in this country is ensure our white children go to the same public schools as all of our other children.

Image by Capri23 from Pixabay

Enough with the specialized charters, private schools, etc. etc. White mamas, you want to really do something meaningful? It’s not enough to quote Martin Luther King one day per year in your 99% white charter school. Send your kids to public school, most especially in elementary school. Allow them to have day-to-day interaction with…

Our First Eggs

Our first eggs! You scream triumphantly,

causing amusement and consternation

amongst our guests

then call me down

so I can terrify them again

perfect and small

they are the new eggs of adolescent chickens

chicken periods, my daughter calls them

perhaps feeling a little sisterhood

she, a sun in the same part of her arc in the sky

the next morning, I fry one carefully

low and slow, no burned albumen for this my first

and precious egg

in eating, I taste the heaviness

of every bug and piece of corn and drop of water


Judging The Science Fair

— -

The Central Texas regional science fair in the events center downtown

is full of high school students and balloons

nervous-eyed teachers and parents

and cops

that’s a new one


science fair used to be about rockets and teaching mice

now it’s either dreary pH experiments about acid rain

and anything that might slow extinction or global warming


what began as racing starry-eyed promise

now squats in vacant descriptions of futility

we know this shit is useless the students are thinking

it’s for the grade

and they describe again, ruthlessly, how acid kills…

What To Do During Christmas When You Don’t Have The Kids

If you’re a parent with a split-custody schedule, the holidays can be a particularly rough time. Your usual traditions don’t work, and you may feel tempted to resent your ex-spouse or battle for specific time windows with the kids. I get it. It’s hard.

The first time I had to spend Christmas without my school-aged children, I flew to Mexico on Christmas Day. I thought the distraction would be perfect, but I wound up ugly crying in the galley to the flight attendants, who were marvelously sympathetic. …

Anniversary of the Flood

I have always had a river inside of me

that swells in the spring

threatening to break the dam of my chest

and flood the…

What Happened When We Cut Off the Halloween Candy

image from

If you’re anything like I am as a parent of little people, you understand that unrestricted access to sugar is a bad, bad, bad thing. It rots their teeth, it sends them on a sugar high, it creates bad dietary habits that will haunt them into their adulthoods. Besides which, every mommy blog post and helpful article suggests multiple alternatives to sugar because if you are a good mother, you make this an absolute priority.

Chocolate milk is a no-no. Applesauce should be chosen to be unsweetened, lest we learn to…

Cold Front

the first cold front of the year

swings in trailing happiness behind it

neighbors you have not seen in months

emerge from their house-shells

blinking stickily and breathing deep

children laugh and run a hell run

directly towards joyous trouble

the cool air sweeps away years in an instant

all the crummy accidents of summer

the foul tempers, the bickering

all gone now, just like that

it is amazing how everything can turn in a season

or in a breath of air

who said everything can’t change all at once?

who said anything about getting older?


— and Why We Chose It

Attending your local public school is not fashionable these days. At least, not in our demographic — admittedly privileged, educated, liberal-leaning, white. This fall, while Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were bashing it out in the first democratic debate over the history of busing, parents in my city were busily making plans to hoof it out of the urban areas where they lived in a scramble to self-bus anywhere but their neighborhood school.

It seemed as though any alternative would do — private, public charter, montessori, other public schools that weren’t the one we…

Thais Perkins

Songwriter, poet, science and nature writer, and parent. Some of these things overlap.

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