Eternal Spring

Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill'

I believed then, that I would feel young until I was properly old. I knew without doubt that I would travel, climb mountains, ride horses from castle to castle and understand the intricacies of life. I would know interesting people, have close intimate friendships, and that together we would raise our kids and laugh over memories shared through photos of smiling bright eyed children. The holidays would be huge, children, aunties, uncles, moms, dads, old friends and new. My sister would be there. She would always be there and the sun would shine on our Easter egg hunts and we’d laugh, how we would laugh as baskets were filled with colorful eggs. In these made up sunshine memories I never worry about my hair or my makeup or the clothes I have chosen for the day. Bra straps never slip and the children are always happy. Happy just to be. Sometimes in the evening after dinner dishes are cleared away my sister and I  walk in the rose garden and listen to my son play something melodious and timeless on the piano, the sound drifting on a warm spring breeze scented with roses, lilac, and daphne.

I feel myself  take her hand and kiss her cheek and remember when the nurse held her up to the nursery glass so I could see my small baby sister, new and pink in the world. The dream house I live in is always stone. It is a mountain of foreverness, unmovable, unshakable, invulnerable to time and trouble. There is no noise save the music of Duncan’s piano, the warble of an evening bird preparing for sleep, the distant snort of a horse in a pasture far away. We walk unburdened by debt and time’s many troubles toward an evening that promises deep restful sleep and a happy tomorrow. And in the morning sweet spring wakes us with birdsong, the scent of fresh coffee seeping in under our bedroom doors until feet touch down on cool clean oak plank and we are up, wrapped in colorful robes, plaid pajamas, rosy cheeked and bright eyed from the rest, in truth, that only children know. In my dreams I am always young, always draped in bright cheerful colors, always surrounded by my beautiful loved ones. In my dreams I am happy.

 

That Boy by the Mailbox

boy by the mailboxThat boy waiting by the mailbox tastes like strawberries in summer. I like the way he runs his fingers through my hair when he kisses me. Even on these kill you hot summer days – I feel a shiver.

Today he wears old blue jeans and a grey t-shirt with a tear. I can see him waiting behind the camellia if I lean out my second story window just right.

“I’m going to get the mail,” I call skipping down the stairs two at a time. Daddy says something about it being Sunday but I pretend I didn’t hear him. God and he both know I never keep track of the days.

My boy sees me coming and smiles so big I’m blinded. I see him duck between the lilac and the camellia out of sight.

I act all nonchalant, while my eyes flicker over the neighborhood making sure no one sees me. I slip in behind him but not before I catch sight of old Mrs. Danby peering at me from behind a rose bush. I don’t care what she sees cuz she’s crazy anyhow.

My boy tastes good today, like salted chocolate and yep…strawberries. We kiss a little then he draws back and tells me I look pretty. I know he’s lying cuz I haven’t even done my hair but maybe he’s the kind of boy who really does like the look of a girl like me.

My boy starts unbuttoning my shirt and really I don’t mind cuz there’s not much I do mind. Unfortunately, five buttons down, I hear the screen door on my house squeak open.

“Jane?” Daddy calls and I start buttoning like mad. Across the street old Mrs. Danby cackles real low and my boy goes so pail he might as well have just died. I’m out of the bushes in seconds and am just about to head home when I hear, “Forget something?” When I look up, daddy’s watching me and he’s glaring real mean at my last two buttons. I just smile my best smile. “Sure did Daddy. I forgot it’s Sunday. Why didn’t you remind me there’s no mail today?”

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