Thursday, June 16, 2005

Take two toddlers and call me...

It turns out that a great reversal of work-induced despair can sometimes be found in the prosaic, mini-bucolic landscape of your backyard. I came home last night like Willy Loman, stooped, freighted with ennui, futility--all the good things--and Ian came running toward me from the back door and said, with that excellent, toddler, matter-of-fact, newly learned conversational acumen, "Hi Mommy, you want to come outside with me?" And in a blur of a tie dyed shirt and madras shorts, he is out the door.

I go out back and Ian is behind the massive oak tree with his hands over his eyes. MZA and Daisy are hiding on the other side of the yard. Ian finishes counting and runs straight for where they are. MZA puts Daisy down and she does the back-forth clown toddler run, squealing with fear and excitement, in circles, as Ian holds back his pace so he can "chase" her without overtaking her. Daisy comes to me and I get the full knee hug treatment. I feel reluctant to let myself be sucker-punched by an Oprah moment of "what truly matters," then I succumb.

Daisy's in a lime green bloomer one piece. I ask them if they can go down the slide and they sturdily climb the faux rock wall of their playset and Ian bolts down the tall green slide. I put turtle wax on it to make it fast, and it is like lightening. Daisy sits at the top of the slide, smiling, expectant, a little nervous, but so game. I say, "You ready?" And she smiles and shakes her head, "yes." She holds on to the sides of the slide, not wanting to hesitate, wanting to match her brother, wanting the applause at the finish line. She releases her grip and watches carefully for my outstretched hands to catch her.

I wrote this a coupla years ago. Daisy reminded me of it, with her smile and her game face.

permanent address

gingko trees
one way street once was
two ways
shattered glass car windows around the corner
(unsolved young mystery) &
lots of
stinking moss we stick in our ears just to say
we hear voices
At dusk,
the cracks in the sidewalk rattle our child cages
past the fragrant park with eight thousand bushes
and the red slide
with a magic tunnel where,
if you hold onto the sides of the red Fiberglas long enough, you
might never
slip through


Cynicism is another word for reality

Email me, you derelict wastrel

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