playing in the sunshine,
their voices tumble down the
hill and across the gravel road.
two robins amuse
in a game of chase,
loop de looping the sky
satisfied that nearby
three blue eggs have cracked open, hatching scrawny, featherless
I showed the children how to whistle through blades of grass held between my thumbs
like my mother showed me half a century ago. Days of memories lost to nothing more than washing dishes with my loud aunts who spoke in Polish tongues and danced on the linoleum floor my mother scrubbed rightly the night before. My grandmother showed us how to make noodles from scratch. At night we watched The Beatles on TV, but what I remember most is seeing pictures of babies in Africa with flies swarming their lips and eyelids, bellies distended and ribs showing through the skin.
Incomplete, like tiny baby birds.
Today fat hamburgers are cooking on the grill. Our neighbor is pushing his mower over unusually high weeds. The boys, hiding behind trees, jump out and pump their squirt guns screaming. The girls sit in a circle under an elderberry, and smudge their faces and arms with dandelion flowers. All of them collecting memories.
In fifty years, they will know. They will remember all that has disturbed and delighted them. They will remember studying for that English final, and laying in the grass wondering about what is beyond and higher than the sky.
They will remember the pain their harsh words created, and wonder about what is below and deeper than the sea.
They will be shocked, and cherished, and bloodied and restored. They will cry over their imperfect children, and pound their fists at God. They will learn to fall down seven times, and stand up eight. They will know that cheap romance is no substitute for true love.
But for now they are adrift in this day.
And for now they need know nothing more, or less