Boys in the yard whittle sticks into arrows,
sun sliding down their backs, its westward march
a dusk-maker, cool-wind-shaker,
lifting unbrushed curls and auburn feathers
off the necks of children.
Mothers watch and don’t watch, talk and fall silent,
laugh and change subjects between pauses
in a single sentence, as if the interruptions of toddlers
persisted into the grownness of boys over eight
and almost twelve.
Night breeze, saving laughter in high-back deck chairs,
feet up because the porch ledge is there saying please relax,
nameless anxiety pulled up short, its tensing tentacles
retract with each involuntary giggle induced
by a peer-in-duty beside, shedding light on other matters;
favorite singers, making the story a page-turner,
daffodils in winter.
Here mothers are women who remember
again their ownness, and gradually, within each silence between friends,
spirits are lifted anew, to meet what is… that beautiful.