staring into the end of the first
fireplace fire of the winter,
and the room was dark and cold
everywhere but the hearth
where I sat, and the only sound
I could hear was that of the fish
tanks babbling on as the guppies
hovered sleeping near the rocks,
I was brought to another time
in less than an instant, as tends
to happen to me during some
peaceful solitary activities, and
the delicate perfectly cylindrical
dying flame undulating at the underside
of the thinner of two logs reminded
me of when handwashing
time always would become a game.
with soap being wasted and
mirrors being splashed and
shirts becoming soaked and
heads hung at the sight of Mom.
one of my favorite things to do
in the kitchen sink was to turn
the faucet to the exact spot
where the steam was as
solid and clear as an icicle,
before the tiny screen at its mouth
could break it into noisy whitewater.
I'd place one finger in
the stream and feel its
weight and split it into
two. for long stretches of time
this kept me occupied.
and I smile thinking of how
silly yet charmingly innocent it is
that a child can be so amused by
something so small. that a
stream of water and her finger's
effect on it make bring her joy.
and then I smile again realizing
that ironically, in all these years of
alleged cynicism and maturation,
so little has actually changed.