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.


The littlest one
is fifteen months old
and he throws fits now.

They are classic ones,
head thrown backward,
back arched,
legs kicking

and every effort
is made
to get flat
on the floor.

He scrunches his face and cries.
He pushes out his lower lip.
He huffs and humphs.
He gets his head on the ground.

Now my opportunities to practice
patience, understanding, and compassion
abound. Around the corner of every moment

I can choose love.