Cedar woodchips on a playground. Calluses on fingers. Dirt under fingernails. Domes, slides and platforms on springs.
An elementary school. Breezeblock walls painted a very light grey with a yellow stripe cutting the wall into child size.
Yellow tubing, textured plastics, blue skies speckled with clouds.(more)
Mothers in minivans watching their children beside mothers in minivans watching their children.
Children running, jumping, screaming shrill spouts of jubilation.
Near a baseball field wearing a flock of trees on it's outskirts.
A well ordered structure of trails ringing around and going over around and through.
A mother running a trail, her husband at home watching baseball a parental figure head for a child contentedly coloring in twelve shades of crayola.
A bend in the trail pushes out past the tree line into the far patch of fat grass beside manicured wetland.
A running mother sees the minivan caravan of mothers watching children beside other mothers watching children.
A new black Ford releases its speed and slows to a stop at the sign at the T in the road by the school where the children are running and jumping the mothers are watching the fat blades of grass are shivering slightly.
The mothers and daughters and sons and their fathers are gathered around in the fall with their family.
The pavement is dark with the cool of the mist that hovered last night then sunk to the ground to hide in the pours of soil.
The air that they breath is clean cool and easing. Their lungs drink it gladly their hearts pass it on.
In the beauty of midday at the park in the town by the small dome shaped hill capped in green, speckled red brown and orange in the cloud speckled sky fading softly from morning into darker blue hues.
on this side of the mirror there are things that dearly remind me of you. the stars in the heavens, the scent of forest and cedar woodchips, the rumble of passing trains, the German flag; even in my dreams, where I once imagined I could forget you, you linger(more) in the background and in shadowed spaces like a ghost--watching, judging, silent, and I am the grave, a space to fill with dead memories.
Cedar woodchips stick to his palms and leave red marks when his little sister brushes them from his skin. He glares at her and tells her not to do that and she is too young to know his words for the 'thank you' that they hide.
(more) Cedar woodchips in his sandals from when he jumped off the playground in front of her to stop the little boy from hitting her. Cedar woodchips under his fingernails after he throws them at the other boy. Cedar woodchips under his feet as he takes her aside to a picnic table and teaches her how to play Pokemon while her tears dry on her cheeks.
Cedar woodchips in a box on her lap when he walks in to apologize after the first time he markedly ruined her evening by coming to blows with their parents. Cedarwood chips left on her cheek when she dries her eyes and offers a watery smile.
She throws cedar woodchips on a fire two years later and he must watch from outside the house because he is no longer allowed inside. He comes in anyway and finds the rest of the box in ashes when he is allowed to spend the night. A charred Pokemon card catches his eye.
Cedar woodchips are all he has of her now, and he likes to sit on park benches and feel the sharp shapes under his feet and think of the loving looks she used to send his way. Before he got so angry. Before they grew up and life got complicated and they got stubborn. Before the bad blood had run so thick and raw. Before he burned more bridges than he could count and she burned cedar woodchips on their family's hearth and let the flames dry her eyes. (less)
The door was made of cedar. It stood between me and the outside world. When I was having a bad day, it would protect the world from my teenage angst. When he was having a bad day, which was often, it would protect me from him.
(more) Cedar couldn't protect against the screaming and yelling, however. Cedar couldn't protect against the fights and the crying. Cedar couldn't protect against the banging that shook the frames of the door. Cedar couldn't protect against his boot and hammer.
I carried the cedar woodchips to the side of the road with the rest of the garbage. Now there was nothing left to protect me. (less)
"I want to go to the beach," Masayoshi said suddenly, kicking his feet through the mulch that lay scattered under the swing set.
Gotou was lighting a cigarette, sitting on the swing next to his. "...okay?" They had been walking in the twilight together, as it was th(more)e only time they could do so without being bothered by tourists or any of Masayoshi's growing fanclub. "Why?"
Masayoshi leaned back on the swing, holding the chains and sticking his legs straight out, balancing. "We haven't gone anywhere together yet," he said. "And it's summer. It'll be fun!"
Gotou considered him, scuffing his feet through the mulch as he thought. Somehow any trip with Masayoshi screamed 'trap' - but, it could be fun. It could also go very wrong, but it wouldn't be dull. "All right," he said, and exhaled a stream of smoke into the muggy summer evening.
Masayoshi almost fell off the swing straightening up. "Really?!"
"Sure," Gotou looked up at the dark blue of the sky above - the city lights, muted though they were in the park still shadowed all but the brightest of the stars. "Could be fun, I guess."
Masayoshi swung a little, back and forth, the swing set creaking with the motion. "We're gonna go on a trip together," he yelled, and Gotou grabbed the chain of his swing mid-arc.
"Oi," he said, as Masayoshi yelped as the swing went sideways. "What happened to not being a nuisance, huh?"
"Oops," Masayoshi said, but he was grinning.(less)