The Beginning of the End

Of Another Year

I sent S. back to school in January
the same day I ordered E's cap and gown
for high school graduation
The beginning of the end 
to the first year of middle school
the beginning of the end 
to the last year of high school

E's spring orchestra concert
that was cancelled twice
once for COVID
once for an ice storm
Is that the last time we'll watch him perform?

End of the year contemplation starts in April
not December
Calendars don't go in order around here
The beginning of the end of another school year
Did I do everything that needed to be done?
Is there anything I'm still missing?

Releasing E into the world, even though
he'll still be home for a while
the distance he's created to hang out
with friends one last time brings
the beginning of the end to his dependence
on us

S. turns 12 in June
The beginning of the end of 'tweenhood
We baked a cake on Sunday
at her request for us to spend time together
She cut the last slice in half for us to share
The beginning of endings continue


SOLSC Day 30

Sweet Teeth

Papá in his garden, tending his apricot trees
Papá had a mouth full of sweet teeth
Not a tooth
He liked Folgers instant coffee with
a heaping spoonful of sugar and milk

No tomes café o te vas poner prietita,

He pulled up his long sleeved shirt, 
proving it with his farm tanned skin
I didn't care if my skin got dark 
I took a sneaky slurp of his hot coffee
before delivering it with a small plate
full of chocolate chip cookies
or a thick slice of banana bread
peach cobbler
Mom's 7-Up pound cake 
carrot cake drenched under 
a thick coat of
cream cheese icing
pan dulce
cinnamon rolls

On hot summer days
we greeted him with a tall glass 
of Coca Cola or iced tea
garnished with lemon
accompanied with a side of sweets

When we had it,
a bowl piled high with
scoops of butter pecan ice 
made its way onto his lap,
replacing his straw work hat 

We chatted,
changed the channel to Bonanza
or Gunsmoke reruns,
his favorite shows

Replacing his hat,
the signal he'd had his fill, 
we collected empty dishes

Rising from his seat,
he thanked us
and waved goodbye

He'd return tomorrow, 
his sweet teeth
urging him back

SOLSC Day 19

You Know That One Friend?

who invites you somewhere
new,
adventurous?
you think about going
and you check it out
a few times
You think,
yes, maybe this will
work
Introductions are made
smiles exchanged
still wary
but you feel
content
like the essence of 
who you are 
is 
understood
You keep going on your own
here and there
testing it out
meeting other people
awakening out of your 
otherness
You start chatting
and discover some have 
real friend potential,
outside of this space 
I'd love to hang out in person
sort of potential, 
the oh my goodness,
THANK YOU SO MUCH
potential
It's one thing to fit in,
It's a whole other level of living
 to belong
Image by Mabel Amber from Pixabay

Snowstorm Post Script

The sun came out to see what it missed

Plunking water from a detached rain gutter

Plunk, 
plunk-plunk, 
plunk, 
plunk-plunk

Kids back at the park laugh and carry on 
as if the freeze was only a dream

A Mini Cooper Car club member
back at work on a rebuild in the garage,
a can of Bud Light sits on its primed hood
it too, awaits a coat of paint

Two chihuahuas yip against me from across the street
their owner grumbles at them to quiet down

Normalcy hums, 
whatever that means,
zipping through neighborhood streets.
No rush hour zoom, 
but slow casual zips 
scope out damage you can't see 
on neighborhood streets
except for tree limbs piled curbside.

Damage runs deep in burst pipes
empty grocery store shelves
people boiling water to drink.

Shovels scrape, scrape, scraaape 
against concrete driveways
saws groan at broken tree limbs 
trying to hang on.

The last of the slush sloshes underneath my stride
evidence of snow and ice evaporates
One side of the sidewalk looks more like a post springtime rain shower,
the opposite proves otherwise.

Back outside after a week,
grateful it wasn't worse when it was for so many others.

A dry leaf gently cartwheels in front of me 
as if saying
"I've come back out to play!"

Along with the rest of us, picking up where we left off.