I made time.

Words are funny things, wiley creatures, slippery and shimmery. One makes time. Surely not. And yet…

Commonly on business trips, I do not make time. My usual work doesn’t stop its demands when the work on site adds its needs to the clamor of the day. And so I retire to my hotel in the evenings with my takeout and my laptop until past my bedtime. 

Not this time.






My children, I realized, do not know that a darkened forest tunnel will feel cooler, the air lighter, than the meadow they just exited. They haven’t learned the precise angle that is safe to traverse down a rooted path to a creek bed without tumbling. They don’t know that the quiet one walks, the more one sees. 

I have my work cut out for me making more time for the important lessons of childhood.

Popcorn rain

“On Tuesday, when there was popcorn rain, we moved away from the windows and we moved into the libing room to be away from the windows.”


I hope I never call hail “hail” again.

Speaking of popcorn, the colors of seeds and silk are inverse from our sweet corn.


Kumquat 

Sometimes, it is the seeds sown 

yet not grown 

that burn the memories deepest. 

Sometimes, it is the stories 

unfinished 

that repeat, 

their beating in my skull. 

Sometimes, it is the same pain, 

this season, 

each year, 

that calls,

repeating. 

Sometimes, 

I find it hard to breathe. 

A whole mess ‘a

There’s a whole mess ‘a beans here.

“You made a mess, mama?”

No, honey. A mess is a silly word. It can mean a lot of something. 

“You should clean up your bean mess, mama.”

Don’t you worry, little lady. I plan to do just that.


“What’s he doing, mama?”

He’s picking flowers, love.

“He’s eating them?”

Yes, he’s eating them. 

“Don’t eat flowers, buddee!”

It’s ok to eat those flowers, honey. Would you like one? 

“Yes. I’d like one. Ima pick it. Mama, I need to put my flower inside so it doesn’t get cold.”

Inside is colder than outside today. Your flower may like it inside because it’s cooler.

“No, mama. My flower doesn’t like it colder.”

“Mama, my flower needs water! It’s sad! It’s so thirsty!”

It is sad, but it might be too late. We can try anyway. Go ask papa for a cup and get some water. 

“Drink, flower. You’re so thirsty, you need to drink.” 

So flowers don’t drink from their mouths like we do. Flowers drink from their stems. The stem is the long green part that looks like a noodle. 

“My flower drinks like this, with its mouth.” 

I don’t know how much your flower likes that, honey. It wants the water to come up the stem, from the bottom. 

“Look, mama. It wants the water from its stem. Like this. Ima show you.”

Yes, honey, it does, just like that.

Star light.

I hadn’t seen the stars in untold time.


My screen painted in peanut butter. I can’t tell. Is that in focus?


“That’s pokey, mama. Don’t touch it. You’ll get hurt.” 

Ah, no, bug. It only looks pokey. Touch it. It’s ok. 


“That’s a weed, mama?” 

No, honey. That’s corn.

“That’s not corn, mama. That’s grass.”


“I planted beads, mama! Patios and I planted lots of beads for you for them to grow.”


“Those aren’t my ‘matoes, mama. My ‘ ‘matoes are at school.”

“I want to take pictures, mama.”