jumping front kicks, flying sidekicks,
back kicks ( Pa Pa holding her old crib mattress)
then charges Cobra Kung Fu fingers to rip it open
until I prop it on the top staircase;
face up she lays on it, clings for dear life,
and rides it to the bottom bouncing and squealing
and giggling over and over
as she does when clutching her unicorn’s
mane, streaming down a rainbow into candy land,
grabbing treats from Caramel Cottage, Peppermint Forest,
Lollipop Lane, Gummy Snake Ridge and of course
Snow Cone Palace, Uni’s chocolate hoofprints behind.
Then Emma’s afternoon tea party—daintily sipping
apricot juice with M&M’s melting on the bottom
and toasting her Barbies sitting on the couch.
Mom arrives, she grabs Elsa and
we watch their SUV depart out of sight.
The floor, ankle deep with Legos
(sharp as pop bottle shards), plastic animals,
mermaids, two velociraptors, stuffed animals,
I wear steel-soled boots
picking up this
Toy Story landfill . . .
cartwheels next year or the next.
Days of grace until age thirteen.
Peter Venable began scrawling poems in high school, but in college, after taking an English Lit course and reading renowned poets, became ignited and composed many on a manuel typewriter and many more white-out correction strips. Over five decades he wrote free and metric, sacred and secular, serious and whimsical verse. He has been graced being published in numerous poetry journals. Visit him at petervenable.com. Since 1-26-15, he is a grandfather for Emma, and with his wife day-caring the second one, Ms. Madeline, 1-24-21—which prompted these offerings.