Sunday, July 31, 2011

Toddler playground

He heads for the bucket swingset, but detours toward
A broken black flip-flop, plastic cilia shaped for a forgotten foot.
"No baby, that's garbage."
His lower lip rises as he looks up with indignant tears,
As if to say,
"Don't you love me?
If you do, then you love this,
For I am happy at play."

I scoop him up so quickly
He drops his treasure in a patch of weeds.
"Look at this bird, baby."
He rushes toward the robin, then the swingset, then me.
I look down at my feet and at the forlorn shoe nearby.

I want to remind him, to make him remember,
To assuage my guilt at helping him forget, a power I no longer want.
His smile begins wide on the swing and within a few minutes it is another happiness forgotten.
"Baby, I take you off?"
He pouts and the robin finally flits off.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fourth of July

Fireworking in 2011

A Monday Fourth of July apparently means a weekend of fireworks. We saw them in three different towns, including our own. Each time Joshy was crying and miserable. Each loud burst, rather than startling him, just seemed to build up in a crescendo of crankiness. He seemed not so much scared, but annoyed, as if he were telling me, "C'mon, I know this sucks, you know this sucks, so let's just cut the patriotic bs and get outta here."

I couldn't help but look back both nights at the fiery flower bursts in the dark. I marveled not at their beauty though, but at their price-tags. All the area towns could somehow muster up enough pocket change to foot what must be thousands of dollars in fireworks display and insurance bills. Only last week the state passed a bill that is going to cost my family tens of thousands of dollars in my reduced salary to keep the crooks in Trenton from going broke.

Each burst of color seemed like a thousand of my future dollars bursting in air. A hot pink Saturn-shaped explosion was the new dryer we won't be able to buy, a flashing multi-tiered sparkly blue one, a trip to Yellowstone my son wouldn't see. Resentment was burning hot in my belly and my baby was crying, the screams becoming more a protest for his future, an anti-patriotic yelp against The Man, than anything else.

Sent from my iPhone