sketching, sketching...


Mendelssohn: a playpen,
a grass-green child-rearing
zoo. Rows of pastel ranches
pasted on remnants
of farmland, speckled
with fading apple trees.

Everything designed
for us: big yards, swing-
sets, sandboxes, baseball
diamonds... Little
League, Girl Scouts...
the enchanted island

ordained by the Bible
(Dr. Spock). We
watched much TV,
played “army” every
day, suffered shame
and sibling rivalry;

we did the picnics,
the infinite Sunday
afternoons (listening
to the four of them
– Mom, Dad, Grandma,
Grandpa – chortling

quietly over the bridge
table)... so much
you know already.
But you might miss
the careful oils
my mother made:

glowing grass; kids
akimbo (playing
“statue” under
the sprinkler); dark-
leaved oak trees
swaying overhead.

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