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you are not there

We are taking the little one for a ride on her new sled. It is bright orange, with a fuzzy black and white seat cover to keep her extra warm. Her tiny hands in tiny gloves hold the sides as tight as she can. I pull her down a path, shouting "woohooo" and then she replies "woohoo". N's turn is next, pulling her more schoolgirl than mother for a few minutes. There are other parents with children on sleds passing us. Their eyes straight forward, faces completely blank they slip by in silence. I flash a smile to them, and they do not even look at me. I am not there, just another tree leaning towards the stream that runs below.

There are ducks still, flapping around the brackish water and we throw pieces of stale bread to them. I start to think, not about the complete absence of smiles in this culture. I stopped asking about that long ago, told over and again that smiles are reserved for home, behind closed doors. But I wonder, for the children -  these wiggling bu…

from plastic cups

I’ve been drinking with the guards again, from plastic cups. There were tiny blue plums from their summer house, soft and mealy. There were meat pies and cucumbers, arranged carefully on paper plates.

I take a long walk home in the dark, across a river. A warm wind begins to blow.

It’s been an impossible few weeks. Living on the rubles in my pocket, staring at the full moon. A plant is dying in my office. I talk to it every day, as more leaves fall quietly to the windowsill.

Winter is coming already. I can feel the warm wet windows, and the pale grey sidewalk. I can see the first snow coming one night. Just a light dusting. Not enough to sled in, or roll into a snowman.

That will come later, after New Year’s Eve.

Comments

brenda said…
my god. m. so poignant and hauntingly beautiful and alive, these meditations on aloneness and love for a child and the coming snows. i've missed you. and am so so sorry it took me so long to catch up. tough times, here, too. which makes for too small and selfish a world. don't stop. i love reading you.

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