HEROIC

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HEROIC

“I need to show you something.”

His father started in to the kitchen
and the screen door slapped hard
and before he could think to wonder what
the man was back with him in the yard,
thin red fire extinguisher in hand.

“See, you pull out the pin
and squeeze this and then–”

The can kicked
and spurted an illustration,
a plume of powder in the June air.

“Here.”

And suddenly the sleek metal
was heavy and cool against his eager fingers,
his mind burning little wildfires of protest
but also a desire to please
and please let me pass this test.

He steeled himself for the release
and tightened his hold,
so caught up in questions
and a boy’s quest to be bold
that he neglected to aim the nozzle
some place other than
his mother’s garden.

“Sam!”

The screen door slammed a second time
and she was at his side,
open-mouthed, stern
and squinty-eyed
in her survey of the damage:
the layer of ash on asters, dust covering the cosmos.

All three stood there staring
until the boy broke into a run
and got the green hose
and again sprayed into the sun,
the stream pushing away the gray layer
and popping off a flower head or two —
a small price to pay
for saving the day.

©2015 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

Sustenance

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SUSTENANCE

Yesterday I packed
a PBJ and pretzels and two kinds of fruit

pink watermelon and red cherries, ripe and ready

I slipped in a note
telling you to have a good day
penned in purple marker
embellished with hearts and curlicues
like you drew
used to draw
for me

only I didn’t
want to risk it
so I didn’t

Today I packed
a ham sandwich
without the ham,
cheese and pickles and lettuce
for my fickle vegetarian

and only one napkin
because you aren’t the messy one

and pretzels yes again
(you ate all the popcorn with your friends)

sliced apples with a squirt of lemon
so they’ll keep and not go bad
keep for hours
maybe days
maybe more
if you left them in your locker

keep for years
and never change,
never turn

I slipped in a small surprise –
a mini Snickers bar
from the woman at work
who keeps candy in her office
who has a teenager, too
who shows me photos
of hugs and smiles and picnics and trips

who asks of you
just before I ask about that project
for that client

Tomorrow I will pack
another PBJ
and strawberries
and pride
and expectations
and worry
and hope

and pretzels yes again

©2015 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

Breakfast of Champions (February 2015)

THINMINTS

Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s done this, this time of year…

 

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS

A spinach/egg white omelet
beats a plate of eggs and bacon.

If a healthy breakfast’s what you want,
that’s what you should be makin.’

This morning, though, I’m going for broke —
so here’s the meal I’ve chosen:

A dozen yummy Thin Mints,
oh-so-fabulously frozen.

©2015 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz