Friday, October 21, 2016


I lounge on the deck in the cushioned Adirondack chair,
coffee on one arm,
Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle on the other,
in summer’s end
as much as in the story.

Through my transparent sanctuary,
I notice my husband 
wandering around the patio,
poking in the shed,
peering around the swing,
circling the table, 
eyes toward the ground.

"What are you up to?" I ask.

"I bought a can of white paint.  Can’t remember where I put it."

"Studies show that  breakfast with your wife on the deck enhances memory," I offer.

He stops, looks up.  
A warm slow smile softens his face 
and lights his eyes.

"Well, let’s test that theory out."
He brings coffee and a muffin,
and settles into the empty chair beside me.
We chat:  
about the new fence
and his outdoor projects,
my coaching contract,
our refugee family,
our children.

The paintcan bell of the real world tolls for us both,
even on this glorious morning.
He gives in to its summons.
I succumb to temptation
(the only way to deal with it)
and steal a few more minutes.   
Has The Glass Castle shattered?

As I read, he saunters by, grinning now,
paint can in hand, this time.

"Where was it?" I ask.

"In the shed, on the small table."

"Conversation reset your brain," I suggest.
He laughs,
one more coat of connection layered on
our own glass castle.

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