Sunday, July 26, 2015

summer sentence 2015

i sit, staring into the eyes of
my five-week-old great niece Lucy, 
the two of us bound together
by blood
but not yet by story;
the only missive
we share is our 
week together
saying 'good morning'
and touching noses,
me bouncing her soft body
when she cries,
me trying to soothe, 
her trying to discover 
her new world;
and on this morning, 
our last together, 
she turns the corner 
of her mouth, just so 
into a soft, baby smile
and i know she is thinking
about the times
her mother fed her, or
my mother rocked her
or when her sister 
(2, plus some)
held her and 
kissed her face, 
of the times her uncles
took her into their arms 
and showed her 
their world at that moment,
bound by beach and sound and sky;
or of when her grandfather 
danced with her
in afternoon 
delight for both;
and as i look into her
family-blue eyes and
marvel at our same chins,
i wish she could remember
what i have seen of this week —
my sister holding and bouncing
her new granddaughter,
my brother walking into the
surf with his grandson, 
now 8, who
asked my nephew
about girls and French kisses,
and Monopolized our evenings;
our beach party dance-off
with no misunderstanding
from our
part-time partytime
brother-in-law;
how her mother ate fresh peaches
and slept when she could
(and cried a little),
not able to stick her toes 
in the sand often enough
like her namesake, 
my grandmother
always liked to do;
how we ate shrimp 
and how we watched
the sun set
over the blue waters
of the inter-coastal waterway,
my husband wishing
he was out there, skimming
the smooth surface,
under sail,
or my son
casting chicken necks tied to string
in search of crabs for his
Maryland love;
or how my daughter
lifting the paddleball
into the air or tossing it
into the ocean 
with her husband,
who sweated
into soccer heaven
with the 8-year-old, 
all of them no longer afraid 
of the sharks 
they had read about 
in the news;
how i sat with my
nephews for the 
first time in a year, 
learning about jobs
and life
as they see it,
shared an early-morning coffee
with the newest girlfriend, 
her eyes crisp as
the ocean water 
we were about to leave;
and how after supper,
on our last night,
my mother sat
at the kitchen table
with her grands,
holding stories
in her lap as
softly as she did her
great-grandbabies,
hoping to pass 
her own history on.


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