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no invitation

We are at a 3 year old's birthday party in the back room of a cafe. Music is pumping from a tiny speaker. Balloon animals are popping, and waving in the air. A man in a yellow dinosaur costume dances wildly. Parents snap pictures with satisfied smiles on their faces.

A little girl approaches gingerly and stands in the doorway, straying from her parents somewhere inside the restaurant. She cannot be more than three. It must be hard to ignore all of the noise coming from this room packed with celebration. There is a perfect little pony tail at the back of her head. She hesitates, as one foot poises in the air and then rests back down. How to understand that she was not invited. How to understand the laughter, the loose jumping bodies, the presents piled high on the window. None of this connects to her. There is a little plate of food waiting for her back there, in the quiet restaurant. Maybe a warm bowl of soup, thick with noodles. I watch her for some time.

That night, her empty e…

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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