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on being

This is a compilation of poems based on the roles of daughter, sister, mother and self.


05 July 2017

my heart
casts the cocooned
too fragile to be
Now, space granted,
they unfurl…

Your mercy floated
through my weary-eyed
As waves lapped,
But you, close.
Your arms, your grace of
words: medicine for our tired,
learning family.
I walked in with trepidation
and departed renewed.
surrounded by your clasped
hands in a circle of


Together Together
We choose to belong to each other
We long for a walk or a witness
Kinship that stumbles and finds the
Wrong words and tries like a loyal lab to
Holdfast to what binds us.
Like the hand of friendship in our
Raw, exhausted Tuesdays;
she reveals the grace.
Vinyl melodies, spontaneous family dancing, moving
our arms the wrong way and hips too fast.
The babes, naturally softening into their bodies.
The abundance of glee transformed our
dining room into dance floor.
It became bedtime ritual,
swapping baths and books for boogies.
We even left the curtains open so the neighbors would spy on us.


On George’s first birthday eve
7 November 2014

I am on the precipice of a year.
clinging with zeal to the
remarkable memories
that have shaped the last 364 days as your mother.

gasping, grasping, holding fast to
that which might suspend

this moment in time

what sweeter music
might mark your
journey through four cycles of
the earthly experience?
None other than that which we
cocreate. In rhythm – in body – we were one.

Yet you, fluidly,
growing into your own.
in our bodies, together in life, a perfect place
to be. a
boundless chorus of
activity, motion, emotion.

not one cell of my body
is absent from this moment. seeing you into
a new year. embracing
the divine gift, your soul,
bounding forward.


18 February 2022

i am becoming
less muñeca. more
acting in imperfect
movements, one foot,
wrestling back to a
time where i
hopped borders
and barrios
time scattering
about like
inconsequential rain.
i am becoming a tapestry of
my making,
inked by experience
and – daily – cracking away
the plaster, revealing my
transcendent whole.

Elizabeth works as an independent philanthropic advisor serving individuals, nonprofit clients, and family and community foundations. She also founded and led Allow Good, a social purpose organization dedicated to elevating next generation philanthropic learning. The Allow Good curriculum is cited in myriad next generation philanthropic forums, including Northern Trust, Learning to Give, 21/64, and Early in her career, Elizabeth spent nearly a decade creating and leading social and global impact programs at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She earned her master’s degree in International Comparative Education from Stanford University and undergraduate degree in Spanish and Business Studies from Butler University. An avid outdoor adventurer, Elizabeth relishes time distance running, Nordic skiing, and hiking with her beloved husband and two boys. In 2005, she summited Mt. Shasta, the second-highest peak in the Cascades, with a group of 8 other women from Stanford.

photos also by Elizabeth Newton

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