At the Bus Stop
The puddle comes up plumed like creamed-coffee clouds, slapping and smacking against your little girl boots, the ones with dancing lady bugs. The other moms stare, their eyes blazing. Stay-at-home Dad, right. I close my eyes to erase the loss of your mother and what lays ahead. This morning, I only want to hear your sloppy wet pouncing, your rippled giggles bursting like soap bubbles on their way to somewhere blue.
She shrieked and when I rounded the corner I saw her in mid-jump, the couch a trampoline, the picture window beyond it pixelized by an ambush of sleetballs.
I grabbed her hand, small as a squirrel’s paw, and we rushed outside into the stampeding white. We held our palms up and twirled, heads tilted to Heaven where you are. We opened our mouths to crack your code, to take your blessed offering.
The rain is gray blood and, though I am inside, I’m awash with it, wasted and wary as we await the doctor and our new news. You stop pacing and take a seat to watch with me. Your eyes point. In between the rain’s sluicing fingers, ghosts blade through the wet, coming for our baby yet unborn. But with a single word, you beat them to it, you banish them for good. “Boo!”
Here it rains, pecking and pocking the top skin of the lake like a cello, the water as puckered as our young skins which earlier had been burnt by a shy sun hidden behind cloud cover. Now, as we swim to the bank, my heart lurches and flings inside its cage when you turn and say, “Don’t worry, scaredy cat, I’ll go first.”
In a boat like this, swaying as the waves teeter-totter, pushing and pulling us sideways, it begins to rain. The sky shovels itself clean, the wind whips harder, our fishing poles lost seconds ago. I expect you to be frightened, but when I turn you are grinning, crescent moon dimples sloshed with water, rain pelting your skin which will never again be so fresh.