This summer

For Revel and Zander, 4 and 6

They sleep. They sleep like little commas, curved slightly, resting at the end of the sentences that are our days. Their delicate spines make a small ridge just under their shirts, their vertebrae a string of tracks along the center of their little backs.

They breathe. They breathe softly, gently, so quietly that it’s almost to be missed. Against my shoulder or arm it’s the tickle of an insect wing, or the brush of a feather.  A flower petal pressed and dried. Periodically they turn over and sigh, their coltish limbs tangling in the downy covers. Baby deer hidden in tall grasses.

They dream. They dream of I don’t know what. Of climbing? Of running fast over soft ground, of the moss we walked through yesterday afternoon, of the ice cream they ate after dinner. Of swinging, of digging, of the soft rain that fell while the sun went down. Their muscles twitch like dogs; like puppies sleeping in the sun.

They wake. They wake and they squirm. They smile and smell sleepy and yawn. They laugh, And when they laugh? They still sound like babies, bellies full of milk and drunk on love.

photo by Natasha

 

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