A ladybug crawled
on the old man’s weathered hand
His first smile in days
The almond fights with my teeth,
The molars who want to get rid of it,
But dear almond wants to stick over there,
Tangled in between the wells of teeth.
My teeth call for help,
The tongue sets in the fight,
Tries to wiggle out the almond,
But the almond is too stubborn,
The tongue is not going to retreat,
But for how long?
The most powerful must be called,
The one the almond fears the most.
Hence, my teeth invoke the hands to go,
And pick up a tooth pick,
Take it within the mouth and jerk,
And jerk that jerk out of the molars.
The almond cries but no one cares,
The tiny almond is swallowed;
And the tooth pick is thrown,
For who cares now?
The teeth are fine,
And the tongue is back to business.
Almond is history ,
And tooth pick- what about it?
Her little cherub hands picked up my own.
Between her thumb and forefinger she pinched
the paper thinness of the skin and cinched
it. “Grandma, why does it do that?” “When grown,
you’ll get to have some skin like this, my dear.”
Her doubtful eyes cast shadows on my age.
Instead of “older,” I prefer that “sage”
define me. No convincing would she hear.
I’ve always thought that farmers’ rugged hands
are gloved in beauty of a certain kind.
Deep wrinkles give them character, are lined
with fresh reminders of the soil and lands.
My granddaughter sees baby pink on hers,
cannot imagine they will ever look
experienced. To garden and to cook
leaves corrugations when she hoes and stirs.