she breezes through

staffing the tent at the farmers market (for the first time) and a girl dressed in all black, (maybe seven years old) walks up and tells me straight away that she wants to play the seed game

i ask her to guess what the seeds are in each of the 10 mason jars arranged in front of me. so she breezes through the first two

pumpkin
            sunflower
then gets to the third one and lifts up the jar for a better look. hey no cheating i say knowing that they are all labeled on the bottoms,
and she looks up at me and says i wasn’t cheating. i never cheat. well, only a little sometimes just to be funny.

 

 

half unfurled

when the fourth grade girls all swarm in to hug me goodbye just as their teachers are shepherding them onto the bus home after lunch and
one of the girls who had been holding my hand the entire walk from the dining hall says she will never let go, but then she does, and they wave from the bus steps and wave from their bus seats and the engines start and we wave back from the driveway
until the bus pulls out and the wheels turn on the gravel and round a corner, and the trees with their pale green leaves wash them out of sight.

listening to nd practice the ukulele from his room
and kw sneeze from her
nook under the stairs
and hs out by the fire pit putting out the
last of the embers after his grilled steak dinner,
and the rest of them upstairs muffled laughing and moving
chairs, while i sit
still
on the couch near the front door, writing these words.

the cloudy chill that feels like spring is
momentarily
suspended in the half unfurled fiddleheads, and the unopened dandelions
and the one apple tree near the library with blossoms still clasped, hesitating to extend its petals to the world.