Another Perspective at the Marketplace

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

not dead.

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.

 

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