Matching my usual holiday mood, this January chill in Florida. Coat weather. I have a second-hand rabbit fur jacket -- meant to turn it into a pillow. My granddaughter, spending the night, nods beneath the patchwork skins. Side-by-side in my bed, she, reading old books; me, trying to write a new one for children. From a reworked poem...
the monster in my closet
Across white jet-print paper, line after ink-line scratched out. Tired, I turn out the light. She's too big for scary stuff, I think. Maybe not. At ten years old, she'd still rather snuggle next to me than be alone in one of the spare bedrooms. Shes asleep, eyes drifting slowly, side-to-side, beneath the lids. Staring into the dark, how dark, dark is. I put my arm around her. Cocooned in sheets, a heavy comforter holds our body heat. When I awaken in the morning, husband is beside me. Granddaughters in a spare bedroom. Dog's on the bed at her feet. The two share a lot of the same personality traits. We call the dog her canine sister. We brought the part-Irish Setter home from the Humane Society and they've been close ever since. Granddaughter, back then was about two years old; the dog, also. Both abandoned. The little girl by her father. The dog by her family.
We go shopping after lunch, young granddaughter and I, at one of our favorite haunts. A local thrift store. My bargains: a book of Kipling's Verse (selections by T.S. Eliot), and "Lon Po Po", the picture-book translation of a Chinese "Little Red Riding Hood" tale. In perfect condition, both for less than five dollars. And two bakelite bracelets from the 1950s which I'll sell someday through an on-line auction. Granddaughter tries on high heels (three inches of clear lucite) then puts back the "definite maybes" she's carted around for over an hour. Her bargains: a blue rocaille bead necklace, seventy cents. Yellow plastic canteen, two dollars. The plastic sipper-cup, fifty cents. Pink-tagged items half-price. Nearing the cash register, she decides against the baby-carrier shed chosen for her Christmas dolls. "Polka dots" she explains. Maybe I'll go back for it tomorrow. She doesn't want to overspend grandma's purse.
Debra Woolard Bender is Editor of the World Haiku Review.