I SPOT the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o’-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.
by Carl Sandburg
Just Out of the Sea by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (1915)
Boy and Egg
Every few minutes, he wants
to march the trail of flattened rye grass
back to the house of muttering
hens. He too could make
a bed in hay. Yesterday the egg so fresh
it felt hot in his hand and he pressed it
to his ear while the other children
laughed and ran with a ball, leaving him,
so little yet, too forgetful in games,
ready to cry if the ball brushed him,
riveted to the secret of birds
caught up inside his fist,
not ready to give it over
to the refrigerator
or the rest of the day.
by Naomi Shihab Nye
I Want —
I want children to play upon my grave.
Fragile kites let out on lines held in sticky hands,
Pockets weighty with throwing pebbles;
Ant-army marches across greenest grasses,
Knees drawn high and feet bare
to the first timid days of summer.
Childish voices, noisy and forgetful
of the solemn nature of
life, six feet below the living.
On Cassatt’s Breakfast in Bed
What are you thinking of, Mother Dear,
as you clasp your cherubic child before
you and gaze off into the distance
between courses of honeyed tea and buttery toast?
The movements of the moon?
Mycology and mineralogy?
Or the sweet deliciousness of another few minutes of sleep,
so you can dream you live in a world where
mothers are the engineers of their own mornings?