Archive for the ‘Kind of true’ Category

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What I will not get to see

January 14, 2015

I have taken photographs of my son every day of his life. The images scroll by—smiles, frowns, a pout, mouths frozen in screams.

But he is already half my height, and yesterday, when I drove by a school, I watched the children at recess and thought about all the things they do that their parents don’t see, all the experiences that go undocumented as they emigrate to adulthood.

Life slowly fades like an image in bright sunlight. There is no reversing it—I already miss what I will not get to see.

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Intersection/reminder

November 16, 2014

I saw a photograph of an intersection shrouded in fog, and remembered parking there once, long ago. It had been clear when I nestled my car in line with the others, but by that afternoon, mist enveloped the city and it would be awhile before I could discern things properly again.

It is a good reminder, this photo, this fog, this memory of other times when the next step might not have been so obvious. We don’t always know what lies around that curve, up that next hill. We don’t always forecast all the joy that is to come.

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Steam burn

November 12, 2014

The kettle’s lid no longer holds true, so it should be no surprise when it clatters over the pouring stream of boiling water, past the awaiting mug and onto the counter. It should come as no surprise when the steam from inside the kettle escapes all at once, then, and envelopes your fingers, curled around the handle, and leaves pink splotches that sting the rest of the day. There is so much, now that hurts without warning, so many small, unpleasant accidents that leave burn marks on body, on soul.

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Strawberries

July 28, 2014

A flat of strawberries arrived Thursday, and the race was on. They disappear like summer, turning to soup in the warm air, uninterested in schedules and convenience. Sometimes I jam or freeze them, but this time, I devoted most to eating, beginning just after I brought them home with a pint rinsed and eaten greedily over the sink.

By Sunday, they had reached last-chance status, and I quartered the ones left, saved them in the refrigerator. Later, even after I’d washed my hands, my fingers still smelled of summer and seized opportunity.

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When the little one fell

May 8, 2014

The small, falling bird brushed me with flailing wings, then slapped the concrete balcony floor behind me. It was dead on impact, but looked like it was waiting to revive itself and fly home.

I had watched the bird’s mother from my bedroom window as she built a nest on the balcony above mine, warmed her eggs, fed her hatchlings. On warm nights when I sat outside, I had heard chirping after they were born.

I did not know where the mother was that night, nor if she ever learned how her little one disappeared.

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Into the shell

February 10, 2014

The world disappeared for a time yesterday, the fog separating couples from one another, obfuscating minute and second hands, muffling the sounds of sweeping on the porch outside. On the roads, cars threw parabolas of water from deep, standing puddles, and honored the warning of brake lights. It was hard to recognize friends beneath slick, soaked hoods and hats.

We had become sun-spoiled and thirsty, so I had no complaints. Still, I found myself crawling into the shell of my heart by the end of it, in search of some small shelter from the storm.

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Morning swim

February 8, 2014

No swimming after dark, the sign says. But it is still not dawn when we slip from air to water. The moisture collides in a rising fog that turns swimmers into ghosts.

The sky turns grey, then pink. The second hand sweeps around, around, around, ignored by all the steady lap swimmers. I slip from the pool as the second shift stumbles to the edge of the deck.

The hardest part is getting wet, I tell the man above me on the deck.

I know, he replies, windmilling his arms to delay entry. That’s why I’m still out here.

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