He asked for my help for a 4th-grade school project,
very late in the year. Too close to summer break,
somewhere skipping pebbles across
a surface of water. Help me find big, bouncy words,
suitable for poetry. One, in particular, happy.
Siri spoke pitfalls from unverified sources.
We were hit with joy, a safe synonym. A word,
I feel when I am with him. As I teach my son,
how to write a poem for a class assignment,
I turn to the transparency of one. The Anecdote
of the Jar. Alone, in the wilderness of Tennessee,
not solving our puzzle to write a suitable
poem. What about safety pins?
Which hold the air, one pin at a time, festooned
in miles of aluminum. He gave up on me,
as I offered inferior words. As did I, at least
for the night. Poetry would have to wait.
Not long before he fell asleep,
as I uncoupled a morning from a night.
He had what seemed like a very bad
dream. Eyes running wild behind closed
lids. He rose up in protest. Denying
the poem. Repeating over & over in his
sleep, certainly unaware that I was listening.