In the Garden Shed After Nightfall
First published in The Haibun Journal 1:2, autumn 2019, page 32. Originally written in February and October of 2007. See also “Kay F. Anderson, Life-Dancer.”
For Kay F. Anderson, July 29, 1934 – February 8, 2007
Before bedtime, our three-year-old sometimes fussed about undressing for his bath. To encourage him one evening, I asked if he would take off his shirt or socks if I took off mine. He delighted in this game and soon he was splashing in the soap bubbles.
foamies on our noses
we sing the rubber ducky song
One night he was slow at playing along, so I said, “Let’s see who can take his shirt off the fastest.” I got my shirt off quickly. “I win,” I teased. He pulled his shirt off a second later, and proclaimed, “I win too!”
That night we played with the wet washcloth, pretending it was a violin, a flute, and a guitar. He howled with laughter. While we played I thought about how he still saw “winning” as cooperative rather than competitive, how he had not yet felt the sting of loss. After I tucked him into bed, and went to close the blinds, I saw the night’s moonlight brightening all the rooftops down our street.
news of her death—
the burlap bag of tulip bulbs
crumbles in my palm