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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…

the old place


Passing the old place, a phantom wind runs up my leg and across the back of my neck. I have not been here in eight years. I do not go closer than the driveway. There is the bald spot of lawn where my Weber stood, where E rolled around on a blanket as I slow cooked ribs on Saturday afternoons. The house looks clean, under a fresh coat of paint.

There was a light on the corner of a building that turned on when you walked under it. E would be in my arms long after the sun had gone down and I had to be careful or the light would wake her up.

I can admit it now. I talked to that light. It was a familiar presence in a broken life. I waited for the telltale click and the bloom of shadow and the click of the timer that would turn it back off in a few minutes.

I told that light may things. My fears, my wishes. I called it friend. I can remember telling it goodbye, looking up at brick and metal, talking to a piece of hardware.


Comments

liv said…
sentimental journey

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