Tuesday, January 12, 2010

keep asking

Will you? Will you be? Will you be there? Will you be there tomorrow? Will you be ready there tomorrow? Will you be there tomorrow ready to catch me? Will you be there tomorrow ready to catch me when I fall? Will you be there tomorrow ready to catch me when I fall hard and fast? I will be there. I'll be coming from the cliff on high and I ask you these questions now because there will be no spitting them out as I rush through the air into, hopefully, your arms.

a start?

The hem had come undone and she fingered the frayed threads. She'd sat down ten minutes earlier, waiting for the bus. Once a week she took the twenty minute bus ride south. The volunteer opportunity had piqued her interest when she heard about if from one of her teachers. Now she searched inside her bag for the safety pin she'd been carrying around for months. Her hand scrabbled around in her bag before coming to a resting stop as she remembered the safety pin was gone; she'd given it to the little boy with the runny nose.

They'd drawn a blue dinosaur together. Blue with orange spots. And they'd named him Ralph. Well, they was a generous term because, really, she'd suggested at least a dozen names while he stared blankly at her. It took awhile before she hit upon Ralph. His silent smile after her utterance spoke of his approval. He handed her the blue crayon, and she slowly wrote each letter above his own self-scrawled name.

She had opened the safety pin, pushed it through his overalls' strap, stuck it through the paper Ralph, and closed it. The boy had rubbed his eyes and looked up at her with another smile, this time opening his mouth slightly as if he was actually going to let words escape. He didn't, though. She, in turn, had patted his head and told him goodbye as his mother grabbed his hand and whisked him away.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Some days I find myself walking down streets that stretch so far away from here. Sunny days and ice cream bought from a vendor asking me if I have five kopek to make perfect change. Days like today that start with visible air and end with rain freezing to road tops. Days when snow turns to slush turns to mud. Faces begin to appear in no magical order. Alla's mother stumbles out on the street and presses both her hands against the outside of the apartment. The little boy whose name I've forgotten--he sits on my lap as we ride the bus to his house. We share a pomegranate while he talks of cars and guns in an excited voice. We leave his house to find ourselves covered and almost coated with a gorgeously sparkling sky, uninhibited by streetlight camagflogue. Some days. I have to pull myself back to reality and focus on the task at hand. But I welcome the respite. The small escape into my heart's memories. Shura and her full-cheeked, smiling face. The new scab on her chin from her latest trip on the path. I miss her smile's warmth.