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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…

Postcards from late summer

The ground in front of the bargain

wedding chapel is littered with

shiny plastic hearts and stars

and small coins. We

squat on the pavement

shoving them into

our pockets.


I bring my guitar home

and we play on the fire escape

you with your tiny, tiny

violin tucked under

your chin.

Me, playing songs from

an empty living room

before you were born

when I used to see

the towers

outside the dirty

glass of my

bachelor windows.


It’s time to buy

a watermelon now

not too big

and it needs to sound

like a drum.


They stopped

building the skyscraper

behind

our place. Maybe it’s

for offices,

maybe for homes.

A crane sits motionless above

the half-built

skeleton, in

a cloudy sky, a wet

night, a windy Sunday. But someone

had the idea to

inflate a great

red balloon inside the

structure

and put lights

inside it

so at night

it beats like a giant

heart, against the dark sky

a giant heart, counting

out the minutes

until the crane

will move, or maybe

until the

snow will come.


The leaves are already turning

yellow.



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