Kumquat

Five years hence, I felt a swell of joy. Anticipation. Amplification.

Five weeks in, cessation.

Five weeks more, awareness.

Five weeks further, separation.

I gathered seeds that weekend, to memorialize.

I’ve sown them each memorial weekend since.

They, as their motive, didn’t take.

Until now.

I still, mostly, don’t say.

I still, mostly, can’t stand.

So I still, mostly, let sway.

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The light moves up as the sun goes down.

A picnic on blankets and chairs. His wrinkled cheeks under his chubby ones. Her hair cascading down her growing back. My toes, tiny, covered in dirt and red polish. His toes, tiny, covered in purple sparkle shine. We eat snow peas from ten feet away and listen to the bees on the broccoli and radish.

I don’t joke when I show my garden to others, introducing it as My Happy Place.

Foreground, background, blooms all around.

June, the plum tree, has four varieties grafted to her dwarf trunk. This branch has yet to set fruit in the years we’ve had her.

I’d yet to prune her in the years we’ve had her.

This picture was Friday and then DH and I left the little loves at home (with his folks) and set off to a resort up the road a smidge. It was our fifteenth anniversary last week (what!?) and so we celebrated with a night of (awful) sleep, a fine dining (delicious) dinner, and an old favorite action movie playing on cable. It was splendid.

Today, the branch is ensconced in blossoms and I’m hopeful the fruit will set before the next storm unleashes downpour. And I’m hedging my bets we’re done with freezing (last average frost is a week or so away and the ten day forecast looked promising. I put out beans and corn today…)

Or perhaps this branch never fruits precisely because it blooms too soon in the spring and the rains take away any chance.

Dying light.

If I leave the office just when. If the lights time just so. If the traffic behaves just. If, if, if.

I am home with a little light left. Greeted at the door by two gleeful voices, one escorts me to the closet. “Mama work. Mama jacket off?”

Yes, love. As hurriedly as I can. “Mama’s shoes? Closet?” Yes, love. “I do it.” Mmm… My turn. “Up, please.” It is not a question. Outside? “Yesh!”

Outside we traipse. He, on my hip, me seeking peace. Where can I find a sip of calm. Where can I snatch a glimpse of soothing. What can I feed my soul before the light dies.

I uncover the kumquat. I de-leaf the strawberries. I unwrap Bill and find his lit leaves warm at his feet.

I eyeball the compost pile. Is there time? I could…

“Uh oh, mama.” Quickly, I look up. The light is dying. The moment has passed. Only the tips of the neighboring trees are still frosted with the day’s last color. I look over my shoulder. Uh oh, indeed.