After dinner, the adults chat.
I don’t know what they discuss.
Their children make demands of me—
Bring seven shells down from the shelf
so they can discuss what they see.
Pour water on Petoskey stones
to reveal the honeycomb patterns.
Print pages for them to color—
a unicorn and a dump truck.
They find a yoga mat in a dusty corner,
unfurl it to serve as their station.
I leave them on the floor coloring.
The house settles around them,
their room glows with electric light.
Whenever the adults pause,
I hear the children’s soft syllables,
fragments of their songs.
With voices as beautiful as the Gospel,
they speak to themselves and to each other.
The world could rejoice in this language,
Make all children fed, sheltered, loved—
Published on the Ancient Paths Facebook page August 10, 2019
2019 Pushcart Prize Nominee