Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Keeping Google busy since 2004

Questions my kid has asked me so far today:

"When did people stop using their father's first name or their town as their last name, like 'Robert John's Son,' or 'Thomas of Bridge Town,' and start using the same last name as their whole family like we do now?"

"Can you visit the exact spot where Lewis and Clark first saw the Pacific Ocean?"

"Who was on the first American dollar?"

"Does the Earth's elliptical orbit make summer longer in the Southern Hemisphere?"

"Did George Washington ever watch fireworks on the Fourth of July?"

"Do lithium and beryllium bond together to make a new chemical?"

"Oxygen has a heavier atomic weight than nitrogen. Does that mean that nitrogen floats on oxygen? Is there a higher concentration of oxygen compared to nitrogen the closer you get to the surface of the Earth?"

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Moment of Silence

“Pause your music,” I say.
He obeys, comprehending
not my words
but a quality of tone.

In the box the President
pauses, too; the First Lady,
the crowd crushed together,
the bells.

Later the day goes on as days do:
the child and his music
and me in the kitchen scrubbing
pans trying not to think
about the iron scent common
to steel and blood.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Keep in Reach

Spring blows on the wind, belying the February slant of the sun. Gusts buffet with hints of March's lion, threatening to tip over all our morning's work. But as the wind tries to snatch empty pots you catch them nimbly and right them in the tray.

Our fingers are dirty from pressing soil into pots and our clothes are dirty too, from soil blown out by the wind, and we laugh together when we pick up another package of potting soil and realize that it warns, primly, KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. Because in this moment no idea seems sillier to us than the idea of keeping children out of dirt.

And I want to tell you of doll villages built in the mud, and backyard digs for dinosaur bones. Of my grandmother's garden with tomatoes too large to hold in my hands and corn stalks waving against the sky. But I don't. I don't tell you, because when I try to remember those things I start too think too much about remembering and then this moment too seems like a not a living moment but instead another memory that I have to grab onto, quick, before it slips. I know something you don't yet, about time, and getting older. Februaries blur.

You laugh and I shove past laughter away and the future collapsing in on us, too. Snatch another pot back from the March winds blowing into February too soon.

Right now all I want to be is right here, now. Here now with your laughter and your quick, muddy fingers and the sunlight glinting on your copper hair.