Dear Hollis, It’s been hot for days, I can’t say I love it. It’s not a relief to walk these dusty streets, hand to foreheads as we watch and wonder at the high desert tumbleweeds rolling through the silence of our Fort Collins street. The rain won’t appear in these vast cloudless skies and my skin burns being so close to the sun. You grab my hand to go walking and my belly, pregnant with the imminent arrival of your sister, sweats beneath my waistband. Your movements, like Hermes, weave in and out, ready to take flight with wings at your heels. You appear with plastic livestock in your hand as offering and ask for a snack in return. I am no demi-god. I cannot take your gifts stolen from Apollo’s pasture. We retreat back inside. I stare out the kitchen window. Your slow bang of the hammer on the wooden nail helps me find rhythm to my own breath and signals your readiness for sleep. You sleep and I sleep. I dream of alternative universes and watery climates filled with thick air and humidity. We wake and head out to walk again. The Front Range looms alongside us. We stop so you can pat the horses at a nearby farm and we both understand, in the darkness of mountain shadows, that we are not so mighty against this earth. Stuck in the rhythms of mundane movements, waking, eating, napping, walking, eating, bed. Laundry hanging out to dry over burnt brown grass and scorched cement too hot for bare feet. Your sister kicks my ribs as the breeze picks up. My eyes squeeze shut. You tilt your head, curious at my pain, then continue on with your hands in the dirt. Soon we head home where I lay myself down and stare up at the ceiling. Its 1980's popcorn finish, a vast sea of imaginary dead volcanoes, impact craters and lava flows, transports me to the moon and its unknown frontiers. I wish for new beginnings and easy afternoons. Longer naps and space for taking my time with you before the world snaps back into action and your sister arrives. It is a mercy this slowing down. This lunar phasal ebb and flow of our days. How am I to know that this toddler quarantine will become practice for what will be my modern age.
Licia Morelli is the best selling and Maine Literary Award winning author of The Lemonade Hurricane and I Am Darn Tough (Tilbury House Publishers). Her essays and poetry have been featured in Vanity Fair, The Rumpus, Johns Hopkins Press, Maine Media Magazine, ARTS Magazine and more. Licia believes more people should trust their intuition and eat chocolate chip cookies, both of which she credits good writing.
Licia urges you to contribute to One Less Worry, and organization that provides personal care necessities & grooming products while raising awareness of need & normalizing periods. Visit www.onelessworry.me.