I relax into the arms
of Friday night.
You know you are tired when you stand
at your front door
thumb on the button of your car lock remote
wondering why the house door
That’s the end of the month of Small Stones. Do we have a new challenge?
I walk away from the news —
California drought the worst in 500 years,
ice in Atlanta —
to take out the trash,
then the recycling.
I enjoy the small blessing
My glass bottles go thunk,
hitting the bottom of the bin.
Knowing my mother
as well as I did,
I didn’t hesitate…
When Shunichi asked,
“What exactly is turkey and all the trimmings?”
I invited a Japanese family of four
home for Thanksgiving.
I didn’t hesitate —
but I called her right away
with a head count.
I hold up the Jan Brett book, where
at the edge of the woods,
little Annie meets a moose.
“How many of you have ever seen an elk?” I ask,
because this is the school where a herd crossed my road
just a hundred yards downhill
at 7:55 a.m.
just last week.
Every hand went up.
“Well,” I said,
a moose is even bigger!”
The children have scattered.
Cast like a flock of bright birds
from the school doors
onto the neighborhood streets
or shepherded onto buses
or in-gathered to cars by parents
they are gone
and they will not be seen again until morning
they are tucked away safely
with their Xboxes and Playstations and iPads and Nickelodeon
no flocks of bicycles
no swooshing skateboards
There is just this one last girl
shuffling round-shouldered down the street
in her puffy black and white jacket
over her cell phone
The Black Truffle Brie at bedtime
is a leftover from wedding celebration
a musky salty melding
and the wild scent
of the forest
Theresa led me by flashlight from her old house
up to their new house,
where the walls were framed
and the floor nailed down.
She set up a brilliant electric work-light
–the wood stove will go in this corner, she said —
and a CD player with praise songs.
in a circle of light,
in the scent of sawdust