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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…

tiny movements

A midnight snow, now slush
and the women clicking on high heeled
boots clutching umbrellas
the workers pushing
makeshift, plywood
shovels, and great brown
puddles back and
forth.
Me, clean shaven
working with the lights
off, sipping the first coffee
in a week. Some sweet
bread
and people to call
meetings to hustle to, waving my hands
around, hoping things translate
hoping these guys really have money to spend
not just half-baked questions
like last time.
Ah, remember to take those
vitamins, remember to set the
right time on my watch
remember that some things
get solved by ignoring them
remember that there is nothing
better in the world than
a guitar with new strings, or a
Sunday night lasagne
or the snow that just fell as I
wrote this, as the smell of
a woman's hair, as money found
in pockets of never-worn coats
as my daughter's tiny
movements
as she sleeps.

Comments

brenda said…
Life happens when you're not looking. Just made that up, M. But it seems appropriate. Wooden shovels?? Your fresh snow. I can feel it. and ah yes, hoping clients have money not half baked questions. I live there.

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