Somersaults on a dying couch, spelling words on empty envelopes. Gibberish from tiny mouths, puppy clear as day. Polished nails (cuticles too), birthday parties, rock collections. Shoes on. Cold fingers, wet noses. Shoes off. C-A-T, cat. D-O-G, dog. Ponytails – one for Six, two for Five – rubber bands beneath the rug, feline loot.
Sassy mouths, marbles from a jar. Sucked fingers, knowing and ignoring. Soon. Overcooked chicken in the crockpot, eaten still. Bills on the counter. Tidying, tending. Toothpaste on the mirror, towels in the dryer. Early evening lawn treks in oversized sweatshirts: more kitchen here, extra bathroom there. Check the numbers, never enough. Dad’s middle school drumsticks, Red Hot Chili Peppers carved into the grain, now wands. Expelliarmus. Let it go, all of it.
8:00, bedtime. Wet heads, rehearsed prayers. Milk, please? Another hug? Facebook, face wash. Cold sheets, gurgling walls. Guilt. Gratitude.