I remember my mother
taking my older sister
and I to a park by the ocean
We would jump from the car and run over the dunes
and down to the scrag of a beach looking for razor clams and conch
We would find moon-jellies
and toss them back and forth, feeling their sandyspaceslime
seep into our fingers.
After a while our mother would call us for lunch
and we would rinse our hands in the salty water and run over to the shade where she sat with our sandwiches and Capri-Sun
We would sit, my mother with her back
to the trunk of the large tree, and eat, my sister and I telling Mom all about the things we had found and she would listen and be even more excited about our discoveries than we were.
When I had finished my sandwich
and wiped the peanut butter
from my lips with my arm, I would scramble
up the tree behind my mother.
She and my sister would talk of other things, but I was a few feet above them, high off the ground I thought
, working my way out the long deep-grooved bark.
I would continue to climb higher until I found a spot where I could see some light through the curling umbrella
of gray-green leaves.
through the canopy