Tuesday, July 24, 2012

the height of summer



We read over and over again about the end of the dinosaurs. The theories, the facts, the animals that made it to the other side. My son's fascination with things prehistoric has not gone away as he has grown, but only deepened. Now besides the lists of meat-eaters and plant-eaters, we read about the famous paleontologists, all they can learn from delicate imprints of skin in ancient sea beds. Sometimes I confuse the names of the great beasts and he corrects me.

In this, this moment that won't last either, the trees are flat out green. Full of their own abundance, their proclivity for life, leaves that flourish, some – no kidding— since the Jurassic Period. The problem is I don't know their names.

My son runs in from summer play out of breath, face red from heat and exertion, ankles black with mud, in this, this moment that won't last either. Some days I do not know what to call him.

At night, we sit on our still-hot porch and listen to the moths ping against the glass. Sometimes they almost sound like rain. If I close my eyes, I can taste the water.

After this, this moment that won't last either, the rains will come back, the bark will turn dark, and life will continue (though I wonder if I should scan the sky for asteroids). Russet leaves I still won't know what to call will wave to me at my window as if I've lived here for ages.

In a flash they will drop all pretense, their fancy dresses – so familiar they act with me though they've never bothered to ask my story – and stand in only tall trunks, their stick arms lifted to the whitening sky, while I hunker below waiting for the snow to create of the world a new page.

2 comments:

Susannah said...

this moment, and only this, now, in memory, in anticipation, seen, felt, absorbed through our senses, touched as best we know how. Thank you for paying attention, for feeling deeply, for finding words that touch.

Christine Broz said...

Life is like a spiral with some things curling back on themselves, repeating with each season, while other events we must savor knowing they will only half repeat themselves in our world of memories. I love the repetition in this piece you wrote, always coming back around.

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