Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Night Karate

I'm walking you girls back
From the train station in the dark
When you both stoop, to snap at dandelions
Shimmying out of a crack in the pavement
And I’m immediately transported back to our walks
When you were young

At the time
It was a welcome indulgence to know
You were old enough to walk
But still insistent we take the stroller
So I could cart you like twin, gliding empresses
Upon your royal sedan

Inevitably, at your command
We would halt
To select from nature's open curio cabinet
Stocked by, as you both had called her, “Mother Garden”
Which I refused to correct

I gave you treats
To keep your mouths content
With something sweet and constantly melting
Upon your happy red tongues
Sometimes, a lollipop
Which, minutes later
Would resurface, wordlessly
Dual, empty flagpoles of no special allegiance

Your eyes continued to dance
Over the slowly advancing corridor of foliage
Hungry to spy the next prize
The next addition to our growing cache
Of Nature’s exotica
Which we never, ever kept

You were showing me the world again
A different world than the one I knew
A world where a marbled orange stripe
Through an otherwise plain pebble
Was a magical and miraculous gift

You both shout now
And I’m startled back into the present
You are excited by how distinct and long your shadows are
In the harsh beacon light of a gas station’s signage

There’s a pealing joy in your screams
As you both karate-chop at my shadow
And with the same motion
Empty your hands
To let the dandelion heads fall

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