Cousin's Chocolate

I remember
Walking you barefoot through
the thick, damp backyard grass
Each hand tightly gripping
one of my fingers. Your mom wasn't
with us, but you still couldn't get enough time
to just be outside
You giggled as any young child and I
never enjoyed being outside so much that summer.

It's amazing that now
at four years old you seem
so grown up sometimes
Like on Saturday when
we left Wal-Mart and you saw
a pot of yellow flowers.

Some had fallen onto the concrete
I couldn't tell you their name but
You had to pick them up
and bring them home
Nourishing them in a Tupperware cup
filled with tap water.

Then you gave them to me
So I could set them safely on the counter.

They were so beautiful
Especially with a glob of chocolate from
When you ate so carefully in your booster seat
In the back row of my car
I made you promise not to get it anywhere
But you couldn't set the flowers down.
It never even occurred to you
That they might be an inconvenience;
You held them the whole way home
And left on them your chocolate mark
They lasted such a long time on that counter.

And now I know that it's okay sometimes
To smear a little chocolate.


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