Sunday, June 15, 2014


into my left hand i squeeze two tablespoons of tea tree shampoo while my right hand reaches over all that wet brown hair and joins my left hand in smoothing the stuff into the thick of it all, right down to that perfect scalp, underneath which, the girl giggles. 

'i like when you wash my hair.'

'you have a mane like a horse.'

'i like horses.'

'they're fast and strong and beautiful. like you.'


it's been years since i've bathed this child. she is in the last glowing months of absolute innocence, unformed by adolescence, game for anything except being a grown up. but now she has height that reaches her mamas, long quick legs, a sense of humor that grasps Irony, and a shattered right elbow. i haven't bathed this girl since she could do it herself, singing and playing in so much water, supervised and unhurried, a cherub with a cloth and bubbles. now she cradles a cast that weighs more than her head, now she steps gingerly, everywhere, now her neck gets pulled by the sling for her cast, now her freckles are fleeting reminders of her carefree days.

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