My six-year-old passes seasons by their bugs
and tells us
April is the time of roly polies.
My three sons and I
walk down to the lagoon,
stop for newborn leaves curled around their branches
like the inner petals of the artichoke
heavy with butter
we ate for supper last night.
The two older boys run to hide til I
burst after them, an elephant,
clump through yellow grasses, boom and bellow,
swipe with open hands.
Overgrown bushes and
clumps of young elms
stand to watch around the dried and leafy oval.
Across the clearing,
the spot I just left,
green and white cloth moves
against the gray-barked trunks.
Two-year-old Tommy, lonely with the sentry trees,
strips his shirt sleeve, calls me back with
one bare arm,
pale as the artichoke
cut at its alabaster heart.