Kingdom-Seeker

I stand in the kitchen;
oil sizzles in the pan, dishes clink on the counter.

He wraps his baby arms around my leg,
chest and cheek pressing against knee and thigh.

“I la loo, I la loo, Mommy.”
I am his tree, rooted in his new soil.

I lie on the floor;
legs hover above the carpet, back lifts away from the ground.

He climbs his baby body on top of me,
hands and knees on ribcage and belly.

“I la loo, I la loo, Mommy.”
I am his path, worn in his new ground.

I kneel, hips over heels, near the piano;
clothes stack up neatly, towels wait in a heap.

He plops his baby bottom on my lap,
Legs on legs, hands on hands.

“I la loo, I la loo, Mommy.”
I am his rock, passing ancient time on his new land.

He doesn’t know it yet, but he is kingdom-seeking;
his is a loamy garden, sandy, full of loose clay and black dirt.

He learns love,
and he loves.

Peace

“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God.” ~ a gift from my sister

The baby sleeps;
the kids play with ease;
they imagine monsters,
forget which of them is in charge,
and create a land with milk and honey flowing.

Peace is easy.

The clashing comes with tears
pouring and screams
piercing.  They pull, butt heads,
reach for leadership
and keep on screeching.

Peace is invisible.

The prayers do not cease;
we give thanks even for these moments,
it taking every fiber of our being,
but we find peace beneath the peel
of our arrogance, in the pith of our purpose.

Peace is God’s.

The girls run through the damp grass

“…whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God…” ~ Romans 14: 6

The girls run through the damp grass
in fuchsia, orange, yellow, and red-colored swimming suits,
squealing with excitement and anxiety
over big brother’s impending splash
of water from the pistol, or the bucket.

Little brother bounds up the soft slope,
his heavy feet plunking over the drying dirt and dying plants;
he turns beneath the forsythia arch and finds me waiting for him,
hunkered down in half-squat, spoon in hand and at the ready:
sweet and sour chicken, “mmm…ah, good, ah!” he tells me.

He enjoys the pineapple, onion, green pepper, brown rice,
and through mouthfuls he wonders with me about the dog he heard yesterday,
where is it? and the cats, where are they? then he stomps his thick bare feet
and laughs at the joy of eating with me under the sky, under the forsythia archway
he turns and sneaks around the back, down to the patio, on a mission

for his cup of water.  He sucks and gulps from the spout, breathes, tips it up again;
he is satisfied and filled and content to run off through the grass without me.
I stay back, thankful for the food, the water, the fresh warm air, the time;
my heart is full, content inside this moment, inside these lines,
the inside edges of life we climb.