princess flecked with leaves and love

when she saw me in the hall
windowed door behind me
friends and dirt beyond

her smile well beyond
joy

shaking giggling she bounded
towards me and i scooped her up
turned
threw open the door
that was behind and is again
behind me because we went
onto the playground and we played hide and seek and we played walking tag and we played duck duck goose and we played whats your favorite food with a dozen three and four year olds oh and we played three little pigs and big bad wolf with a four foot plastic triangular ladder i have no idea how no one got hurt and we sang abcs while she danced on a wooden stage

and at one point i turned
and saw her face down sobbing

she had tripped, you see
while out of my line of sight
and
the fifty big and little people on the playground with us disolved
and
i slid her into my lap
and held her like a daddy does
and god the sun struck
tears welled in her blue eyes
highlighting streaks of tears already fallen carving tracks down sweet dirty cheeks
and then she was ok

because four year old fox scarlett princesses are indestructable

and we played more
and she hugged me
many many times
before allowing me
to go home

or maybe i’d just make a diorama.

it would take way too long
for me to
write out all of the
things i do not know
and like it would be
a nightmare like how would
i organize it alphabetically
maybe inverse order based
upon what i ‘should’ know
like gosh that’s intimidating
to think of putting into writing
and wait how would i even
be able to express what i don’t know
if like um
i don’t know it so then i’d have to
decide do i begin with at least two major
categories things i know i don’t know
and things i don’t even know at all

let’s breathe together ok

anyway

i love you and right yes what i do know is

you make your daddy very happy.

one-man life jacket

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sometimes metaphors

come to life

for just a moment

and sometimes

we are fortunate enough

that capture that moment.

(also sometimes
we’re lucky enough
that our arms look
amaaaziiiiiing
in that moment and gosh
look how sweet she is
rubbing her eyes oh my
darling and my love)

typed shirtless on my porch

i need to water my marigold. often i forget to do so.

i don’t have a watering can, so i use large pink plastic cups that scarlett picked out at the dollar store.

my freckles show up in the sun.

i hope no one gets shot, today.

i keep hearing scarlett’s laughter in my head from yesterday when i played with her on the swings.

her laugh is sharp and voluminous and wonderfully unending. her blue eyes wide and sweet

i hope no scarlett’s lose their mommies or daddies, today. and i hope more people get to hear laughter

sweet and genuine and as-of-yet untouched by malice

than sirens and oh god whys

nigh nigh

i like to hold my little girl
her name is scarlett houston
and sing to her at night
and feel her head grow heavy
and press into my chest
and her sweet and tiny fingers
pinch the fabric of my tshirt sleeve
and she holds on to her daddy
and says ‘bubbles’
or ‘nigh nigh’
at descending levels of volume
until i shush my singing
and say to her i love you
and she knows now is goodnight
and leans from my arms
over her crib and i lower her down
and she collects her blanket and her fox
and her bunny and her thoughts
and says ‘nigh nigh’ again.