the pledge to notice, and to pin down the noticings like dried flowers
on the notecards on my table, again
learning gomphrena, the flower that comes in hues of purple and red and the kind with yellow dashes on the tips, fireworks, feeling thankful for the papery bracts that lend themselves easily to visions of bright winter window decorations
‘soak up the sun’ I say to the first graders walking on the farm who are complaining that they are hot and they are thirsty, and when can they sit down, ‘ because it will be winter sooner than we think!’ I say even though that is hard to imagine in the 80 degrees and not even 11am on this mid-October morning
ordering hot and sour soup for the third time in two weeks from the same restaurant under the bridge, this time its dark outside and raining. inside its all smiles we’re laughing and shouting and reaching out with our arms to underscore injustices and gesticulate our fantasies of growing 15 foot perennial grasses in 10 foot long garden beds so sometimes I become conscious of how much louder we are than the older couple sitting at the table next to us, but they don’t seem bothered and the red hue of the wallpaper and the soft maroon of the napkins and the spicy warming liquid is warming more than just the inside of my stomach.
it is after dinner and we are trading plants out of car trunks at the edge of the driveway in the dark;
sweet alyssum, which I never knew by name until now, in 3 six packs and a giant begonia named marmaduke.
e takes the begonia (much to k’s chagrin, because where will it go in the winter), and k takes the sweet alyssum, for all of us to share- being that it attracts the syrphid fly, who’s larvae will chow down on aphids in the garden.
s gives me some tiny thai basil, and a parsley, and collards. it is easy to hold all three plants in the palm of my hand but soon, they’ll grow
conscious of my chewing (kale salad with pieces of mashed sweet potato) in the
silent kitchen just after
10pm – the dinner i found waiting for me on the counter
with a plate covering the top of the bowl and tongs
poised for the taking
as i slipped in through the door late, from this
and now im eating with my fingers out of the small blue bowl with shades of black and copper that i made (last November) and i’m on my fourth serving of kale salad because of how (small) the bowl is and how
(fluffy) the kale is.
as i am chewing
the light on upstairs of e grading papers and the pink glow from ro’s room (late night newsletter writing) and the empty space of knowing that f is still out on her first 24 hour shift (at the new hospital) all combined
(not to mention the weather forecast of frost) translates
to a feeling of a certain weight
weight of arriving
to a quiet house,
of identifying everyone in a place, their place,
of feeling a part and apart (at the same time)
washing the bowl out in the sink, rinsing my
turning off the light over the stove