Friday, May 31, 2013

june then

It was June then, June and almost July.  We walked around the fountain outside and floated fallen flowers on the water.

Already there were edges we teetered on.  Our rhythms ran a little ragged. All the unspoken easements we'd been used to, he'd been used to, now required words, required re-adjustment.

He was happy.  He was scared. 
We were scared.  We were happy

He gathered up fallen dogwood blossoms and tucked them behind everybody's ears.  His hands graceful as birds and quick and soft.

"Four petals," we said, he said, "like the number of children in this family."

The number of children in this family now.

We wore our flowers all day.  People smiled at us, nodding as we passed.

When it was time to go, he didn't want to leave the fountain, the flowers floating there.  The sun came slanting low. The other children rose at my call.  He stayed, leaning over the water, leaning further over the water. Pushing the flowers, little boats, out a little further with his finger.

Already it was time to go.

When I placed hands on his shoulders to bring him with us, he whirled around. 

"Fine," he said and snatched the blossom from behind my ear, threw it on the ground.

Later he gave it back.  Or another one just like it.

This year has been like that.

This year has been like this.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May I?

May 1st I sat down to write . . . and the date stared back like that child's question, "Mother, May I?" 

So, May . . . 

May I ride my bike in the park on my way to meet up with friends for a satisfying talk-session?
Yes, you may.

May I stop to take pictures of flowers and sunlight and fall into conversation with friendly strangers who want to come up and see what I'm seeing and together we rejoice a little over the unprocessed, unlegislated, unowned delights of May?
Yes, you may.

May I eat flowers in my salad, mixed in with greens that grew all winter right outside my kitchen window?
Yes, you may.

May I wear my favorite polka-dot sweater with a handmade corsage from flowers my daughter gathered from the rock wall?
Yes, you may. 

("And by the way," she says, 
"the lambs-ear is soft and gentle like your love.  
And the others, too, they're all symbolic.")

Does that mean . . . May I for a day preen that in someone's eyes I am interestingly geometric like gopherspurge and spicy-sweet like cranesbill?
Well . . . if you must.

May I at least spend a whole day from sun-up to sundown weeding the flowery banks?
Yes, that you may.

May I trade windshields and screens of all kinds for my bike's handlebar map, winding roads and wild iris in bloom?
Yes, you may . . . 

. . . as long as you teach your sons not to pick any more of the iris and leave some for the rest of May's minions to enjoy.

May I? May I?

I don't have to wait for the answer, do I?  Because in May, isn't the answer always good? And all through the woods and fields and even in small backyards, birds and bugs are chirrupping and carolling and even the wind picks up the scent of flowers that speak in all their vari-colored tongues the same happy song of Maytime praise, "Yes, oh yes, OH YES! You! MAY!"

(Except not when you dip down into the 40s
and make me begin to dread the 90 miles biking to the coast.)

May I have your word that you'll come back to what you, lovely May, do best
and that you'll leave the rain and cold to lesser months?  

(Like February? 
Or November?)
May I, May?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I'm not much for plot

But catching the fleeting moment . . .

. . . that's always what I've liked best. And the only thing I really know how to do.

I suppose there's a story somewhere in moments, if you gathered enough of them together.

Some kind of story.

Depending on the order you put the moments in.  And what kind gets added in.

But not yet.

And of course I'm only talking about my writing here.

Related Posts