I abhorrently used femininity as an excuse to be lazy on the farm so I wouldn't have to pitch as much hay or manure as my brothers. But when they'd accuse me of not pulling my weight I'd dive into a task and hope that if they told my dad I'd be found up to my elbows in pig shit.
We used to graze our milk cows in the ditches to conserve pasture. Four hours a day, every day, all summer. If a cow crossed a broken down fence into the neighbours' and cut up her teats there was hell to pay. The sky was impossibly blue. The wind weathered our faces. The horse flies bit chunks out of our skin.
Hazel eyes sparkle – squinting and grinning. Shaking hair like a mane. Strawberry stained lips, cheeks, fingers. Small arms reach hugs and kisses, “Hi, Eena! Hi!” Shrill voice patronizing yet so sweet. Chubby legs kick in delight. Gummy smile spilling strawberry slop on last night’s pyjamas. Blue eyes crinkle. Bright sunshine in the summer kitchen makes angels out of both. Sisters.
100 Words On Departures
In Darkness, sparrows and robins have begun loudly making their daily plans as the mourning doves’ lament coos three part harmony in the moist air. A thread of light is birthed in the east and the grey shroud begins to evaporate exposing wells of colour beneath. Breath of dawn expands in the lungs of birds, trees, sky. Old Man Moon, still bright, hides his visage behind the trees as he makes a hasty escape. Clouds play an orchestra of purples, pinks, gold across a firmament young and ancient. Immeasurable verve begins the dance of the day. Unnoticed, night departs.
Ode to the Potty
O life of peace and diapers depart from me!
Thou hast lulled me into a stupor of simplicity and ease
Where I could come and go at my whim,
Hours tediously carefree.
But No more!
My life, now ever more compelling, abounds in
bargains and careful contemplation.
“To pee, or not to pee,” before undertaking any endeavour:
This is the question.
Once unhappily leisurely, days are now filled with puzzlement.
“Mommy! I’m DONE!” Lies spurt forth like diarrhea
After gorging on seafood entrees at a
Saskatchewan truck stop.
Can I trust this tiny tot’s emphatic pronouncements?
These are the riddles that breathe life into
Previously uneventful days.
Wearily satisfied by untruths
And receive the hearty reward:
Soft and pungent evidence of the dupe.
Foul words fall from my lips like so much defecation
Spilling forth from toddler’s shorts.
Time has been a villain until now -
Permitting frivolity and devil-may-care!
Now - O - potty training
Thou induce order and acuteness to this life of laxity!
Hemming in thoughts, actions, and creativity;
Attuning the senses to one small mortal in one small chamber.
Pray! Make me privy to your secrets
As I contemplate this discipline confined to
Potty - well of wisdom, sharpener of focus, throne of patience,
Let not your lessons be evacuated from my consciousness.