As I ease into the practice this week, I remember how easy it is to pay attention to the small things, especially when it seems like my life is an accumulation of small things. The trick this week for me has been to find time to write down what I notice. With a toddler, this is challenging, to say the least. I’ve been using my little notebook as well as my phone and tablet as storehouses. The quality has been varied, but I have appreciated the dip back into poetic imagination.
Here are this week’s small stones:
She stretches her small hand, swallowed
in suds. With one short huff,
I blow white foam everywhere.
A cluster clings to her ragged bangs
and she asks for more.
On my right, a brown squirrel darts
across the crust of packed snow,
takes cover under a tree.
On my left, a motionless brown form,
an arc of a tail frozen in the air.
As I near, I see
a clump of dead leaves,
a lone branch curved out of the mass.
My breath pools in vapor trails before me.
At the bottom of the sink –
a soggy knot of carrot peels,
the knobby heart of the green pepper,
two blue bottle nipples, and
the copper ring for a Ball pint jar –
evidence of the day I missed.
I don’t know what is more beautiful: the butter-soft flesh, the ring of dark green surrounding yellow, or the hollow that the pit carved by its absence.
Holding a Sick Child
Each inhale holds a rattle, each exhale a hiss. Her little frame swells and falls, an even tide. The humidifier echoes every breath, in the blue dark of the room.
January sunlight through the window transforms condensation into dozens of tiny, glittering gems.