Click headshot for bio
Oh little girl when you
were my little girl for real
we would go and gather
armfuls of leaves, maples
especially, setting flame
to sidewalks all around us, how
could we resist? We captured them
and brought them home to iron
and press between layers of crinkly
waxed paper to scatter on tables
and tape on windows. Soon they would
crumble and disappear as you, darling, are
not with me today so I must collect yellow,
orange and red beauties to place in an envelope addressed to you three thousand miles away.
“Jungle Fern”by Wendy Caldwell Maloney. Watercolor.
Sitting across the aisle
on the B train
I look at the row of weary faces
various shapes, sizes, colors, ages,
a horizontal explication of what it means
to have woken many mornings
to brave routine, to leave concerns at home
along with scattered laundry and unwashed
dishes to head for same/same at work.
I picture each of you, one at a time. I try to
observe without you knowing and suddenly I
see round, soft faces, no creases in foreheads,
no wrinkles like parentheses around eyes, no down
turned mouths, no slumped shoulders. I see the plump babies you once were. And with that, a rush of hoping
that you were affectionately held on generous laps, that you were sung tender songs, that you were offered
a bowl of blueberries as initiation to the messy pleasures
of this world. I hope that occasionally you reach back,
even if only briefly to recall your beginning self as a visitor new to the planet, unencumbered and dear.
"Tired" by Dorothy Keller. Photograph.