Hickory, dickory, dock,
We work around the clock.
Play and wash and prep and feed and change and play and nap and feed.
Toilet rush before the bough breaks.
A baby in a new mother’s lap
with growing arms reaching for the roll and now the taps –
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
Soon we all might crack.
The clock strikes one
and She arrives.
She soothes and smiles.
She coos and plays and gurgles.
I step and step and step until the body miles stack up.
Hickory, dickory, dock, the mouse wound down the clock.
Thoughts still before a time bomb bursts.
Hickory, dickory, dock.
She soothes, she calms and our doula leaves.
We begin again.
If I could sketch
an image of four women would suffice.
You would see their hair,
black and dark and brown and blonde shining in the lights
of a bar where noodles come with noodles.
In the center there would stand
a casket of endgame beans
With dips and snaps and dips and squeezes
backtracking stories that wind and swirl and peak and ravel.
Catching up, filling in, listening up and laughing out.
If I could sketch you would see smile lines and glassy eyes, wide hugs wrapping you warm and best wishes wished and wished and wished and wished.
But my artistic talent long ago described
as a ‘ student who will always be happy’
can only ask you to imagine
a Christmas mantle, battery operated lights twinkling white through the lace of an Asparagus Fern
growing since that Christmas night
those four friends reunite.