A Knotty Problem

knot DavidJFred

Photo: David J. Fred

 

 

She refused to retreat

In the face of defeat.

She pursed lips, furrowed brow,

Still the bead would not bow.

Pushed into the string’s knot

It slid off … yet she fought.

All suggestions were waived

She refused to be saved.

Five more minutes she spent

String nor bead would relent.

Just as frustration frayed …

Cookies came to her aid.

 

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

The Crank

Silver Gelatin Print

Photo: Vivian Maier (Girl Crying) N.Y. 1954

 

She huffed and she puffed and she stomped her small feet. She whined and she cried and she kicked the car seat. She refused to wear shoes, threw her coat on the ground. Made sure everyone heard her for miles around. She tossed food on the floor. Then asked for some more … Like a kid on a mission for the spoiled child edition.

Evening came.

Gramma called.

Mama handed the phone.

“Tell me now, little one, what on earth’s going on?”

“I’m a crank,” the child said in response. “Now Mama’s tired, all on my own.”

 

 

 

For more of Vivian Maier’s amazing photography: http://www.vivianmaier.com/

For The Daily Post

The Lost Quartet

fishbowl

 

 

He reached into his pocket and rummaged around. “I’ve brought something to show you,” he said, eyes searching mine. “But it’s a secret …”

“Oh?” I offered.

“Well, sort of,” he shrugged as an uncertain smile worked its way into his cheeks. “I took them to school … but I didn’t tell anyone … because we’re not allowed to … The teacher woulda’ taken them away and other kids maybe woulda’ told her or asked to see them and then she’d know …”

I hiked my eyes up and nodded my expectation.

The grin grew but it still held a sheen of sad.

He pulled his fist out of his pocket and turned it so the back of his hand rested on the table, then ceremoniously uncurled his fingers.

Four grains of rice in tiny vials, strung onto a keychain ring.

“They have names on them,” he said reverently.

I squinted and reached for a magnifying glass. Handed him one.

Our heads met over the small nest of palm and he mouthed the words, more sigh than voice.  “Fee, Fi, Fo and Fum.”

A quartet recently eaten not by a giant smelling the blood of an English man but by a feline with a swishing tail who had knocked the fishbowl over and left not one golden scale behind.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Jujus

magic all around you

Photo: Samantha Mars

 

She dragged her book bag up the stairs.

Step, bang. Step, bang.

“It looks heavy,” I noted.

“Yeah,” she huffed and paused to frown in the direction of the patchwork of princesses on the backpack. I found myself wondering whether she was directing discontent at her idolized figures not using their royal powers to, at the very least, summon genie help to manage gravity.

“Want me to help carry the bag for you?” I offered.

She raised an eyebrow as if the mere thought of my definitely-not-princess hands handling her bag was beneath the Disney figures that dignified it.

The first-grader lugged the bag another step and stopped, perhaps to reconsider if there are times when commoners’ help is better than none at all. “Yeah,” she nodded.

I walked down to take the bag from her. The thing was heavy!

“What do you have in there?!” I asked. “Rocks?!”

“Aha,” she nodded sagely, skipped a few steps up ahead of me and swiveled her head to look back at me. “Come faster. I want to show you.”

I lifted the bag (and an eyebrow) in her direction and she giggled. “Sorry… Thanks.”

Once upstairs she indicated I was to clear space for whatever that was, then ceremoniously unzipped the top of her school bag and pulled out a succession of boulders. She placed each with care onto the desk. Several pounds of them.

I waited. The lot looked to me like run-of-the-mill New York stones: mostly dark gray schist dappled with a bit of quartz glint.

She leaned back in her chair and waited. Clearly a reaction was warranted.

“That’s a lot of rocks!” I managed.

“Not regular rocks,” she admonished. “These have magic.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah,” she proclaimed. “They have real magic. And gold, too. Inside.”

I tilted my head a bit to one side and nodded my interest.

She narrowed her eyes at me, weighing the merits of talking to grown ups about matters of magic and gold. “They can even make your wishes come true …”

“But … ” she regarded me before adding, a bit haughtily and perhaps to punish me for my lack of immediate awe, “you do have to believe in them, so they’ll only do the magic for me.”

 

 

For The Daily Post

Invisibly Small

tom looking for ball

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

They can hide beneath blankets

They can scoot behind doors

They can crawl under tables.

It’s no challenge at all.

They’re a lion

A princess

A pirate,

A ball.

He has friends you can’t see.

They are there

“They’re just small.”

 

 

For The Daily Post

“I Am Waiting”

mostlymommyhood.com

Photo: mostlymommyhood.com

 

“I am waiting,” she crouched with jaw ensconced by tiny fists supported on little elbows pressed into small knees.

Her eyes did not leave the circle of translucence and white suds.

“It will be a while,” her momma said. “How about we go have a snack? I think we still have some cookies left.”

“But I’m waiting,” the toddler admonished, as if the wait itself precluded any other thing from being done … not even the consumption of normally-tantrum-before-dinner-worthy cookies.

Then again, maybe this wait indeed required full attention. After all, it was her terry friends being tumbled, wet, forlorn and all alone, so far away from hug and hand.

 

 

For The Daily Post

For Photo and how-to: http://mostlymommyhood.com/2012/11/17/the-friends-get-a-bath/

 

And Suddenly

 

bubbles AK

Photo: Atara Katz

 

 

“And suddenly,” she said,

“Life is not simple anymore.

Or was it never

And I just did not seem

To know?”

 

 

For The Daily Post

The Conversant

busy

Photo: A.Cohen

 

She’s an expert on all matters

Hearts and rainbows

And the crucial importance

Of having everything that glints.

She can wax poetic

On the concept

Of shiny polka dots in pink.

She’s conversant

Beyond measure

On the value of more dolls.

Especially after three had suffered

Unrelenting awful hair-days

Due to dunking

At the sink.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Suspiciously Quiet

be like mommy

Photo: Pinterest

 

The quiet lingered enough to have the mother lift her head from the small screen of the phone.

“Emma?” She inquired.

A longer silence returned no response.

She rose and walked toward the child’s bedroom. The three-year-old was outgrowing afternoon naps but sometimes still could be found slumbering amidst her toys.

The door was open. The girl’s room was empty. She peeked into the bathroom. Empty, too.

“Emma!?” Her voice rose. This time in alarm.

A faint shuffle came from the direction of the master bedroom. Nothing more.

“Emma, where are you?” She demanded.

“Here …” The extra pause and small voice held suspicious hesitation.

Urgency made the few steps feel oddly prolonged. The woman felt heartbeat pulse in the space between her tongue and throat. She pushed open the door …

The child’s cheeks were mascara blotches, her mouth and chin bloomed various shades of lipstick. She had a second set of eyebrows. Her little feet sported rose hues that merged into the floor. The room reeked from a cacophony of perfumes, nail polish, and something that smelled suspiciously like aftershave.

“Hi,” the little girl managed, guilty as they come. “I … I was getting pretty so it be your party.”

 

 

For The Daily Post

Mnemonically Challenged

 

teachingmomser.com

Photo: teachingmomster.com

 

“I failed the test,” she sighed and let her book bag slump to the floor.

“What test, and I’m so sorry.” I responded.

“Social studies. History stuff. I studied so hard!” She plunked herself into the chair. Dejection personified. “Who put all those stupid names and dates in there, anyway?”

“Names and dates can be really difficult to remember,” I noted. “I find it helpful to connect them with the story of what happened, or with something else to remind of what the name or date relate to.”

“Yeah, well,” her eyes rose to meet mine, accusatory at my not understanding she just needed me to let her vent. “But you are not mnemonically challenged!”

 

 

For The Daily Post