You love an assignment. Why wouldn’t you? So much easier than tromping around the lakes trying to sift through the zillion ideas that come floating up out of your scattered brain. If you worked for someone else who was always dumping unasked-for projects on your desk, maybe you’d hate them, but such is not the … Continue reading Andes Mint #18: The sheriff! His deputy! A dozen donuts! Funny books for little kids.
Sixth grade math class. Miss Hughes stood at the front of the classroom. She was short, young and powerfully built, with a sarcastic sense of humor that you and most of the class appreciated. You didn’t much like math, but you hadn’t yet come to loathe it, with “having skipped eighth grade math and therefore … Continue reading Andes Mint #17: What I learned from my buddy John Klossner in sixth-grade math class
Sleepwalker A child enters your room sometime after midnight. You know it’s your son by the silhouette of his cheek, his spiky, sleep-tossed hair. You say his name. He doesn’t answer. You call his name again and again, he does not answer. It is your boy, isn’t it? Or have you transformed a masked stranger … Continue reading Andes Mint #16: Sleepwalker
Michiko Dead – Jack Gilbert He manages like somebody carrying a box that is too heavy, first with his arms underneath. When their strength gives out, he moves the hands forward, hooking them on the corners, pulling the weight against his chest. He moves his thumbs slightly when the fingers begin to tire, and it … Continue reading Andes Mint #15: Poem of the Week, by Jack Gilbert
I woke up in the middle of the night last night curled on the far side of an enormous, cushy bed in an enormous, cushy hotel in the Rocky Mountains. It was 2:47, which is a time I often wake up. It was black in the room the way only a hotel, with those magic … Continue reading Andes Mint #14: Which will you choose
Walk slowly. All you can ever come to is yourself. (Middle Eastern proverb, at least according to the Reader’s Digest magazine you read it in, back when you were in middle school) Three decades after you both graduated from that high school in the foothills, you feel a tap on your shoulder and turn to … Continue reading Andes Mint #13: Walk slowly.
Your mother woke you when you were a child, took your hand and pulled you from that little bed in that little room, led you downstairs and onto the cool cement porch. “Look,” she said, and pointed to the heavens, pulsing green and blue and yellow. “It’s the northern lights.” Tired, you leaned against the … Continue reading Andes Mint #12: Mother of Stars
Credo I believe in tenderness. I believe in lying on your porch swing on a summer night and watching the passersby. I believe in eating as many Oreos as you want. I believe that climbing down the mountain is harder than hiking up. I believe in standing in the doorway watching your small children as … Continue reading Andes Mint #11: Credo
You were a small girl and the state fair concessionaire stands sold pink puffs of spun sugar in paper cones, mesh bags of tiny boiled red potatoes salted and buttered, paper containers filled with fried fat-bellied clams glistening with oil. Paper cups filled with lemonade made from a squeezed lemon stirred up with sugar and … Continue reading Andes Mint #10: Steamed clams and boiled new potatoes
You and your girls and their friend were in London, staying in a sunny room with four twin beds at the top of four long, narrow flights of carpeted stairs that one of you always stumbled on at least once. You strolled Kensington Garden and had afternoon tea. You admired Princess Di’s dresses, still and … Continue reading Andes Mint #9: Show me a girl who's not afraid