I am at the Marketplace
The freshest produce delivered from local growers
fills me with earth-bound joy.
My fingers lovingly stroke the lettuces
and then I see them
A father and daughter, both grown as if in isolation
but I know the truth. The soil from one dead plant
nourishes all the others. But this plant is
She treats him like porcelain
but his substance is clay.
I see the cracks where water from unshed tears met dust.
My child, my heart’s own, tugs at my red skirt and begs me for dulces.
I am blind to the fleeting nature of time as I stroke his face,
his dark curls play around his angelic face.
I whisper sweetness. Tell him
a story to distract him from those candied dreams.
He laughs when the daughter’s potatoes spill to the ground.
“Stop walking,” she barks. And he obeys.
“Stop laughing,” I tell my son
though I don’t use words. I bend to help her
and my son crouches to watch
“It is always better to help,” my hands say
as they sweep away the tendrils that have fallen across my face.
I steal a glance.
We are the same age.
If my father were still here, she could be me.
Could I be her?
How lucky that he grabs the potato sack
(though I’d rather my son not hear his words)
(or learn his pain)
How right that they have each other.
She thanks me and I wonder where love goes
when we die.