Looking at Squirrels

Summer time with Kookaburra by Akuokuo Vallis

Fell into a sort of reverie — just now — playing with Kookaburra — in the garden — near the lilies — a little to the right.   Right over there.

The blossoms are all gone but the green leaves — those already-yellowing-green-leaves — are still here.

The tips are curled —  a papery brown.

And somehow that fragrance  — like the perfect daydream, to me — still lingers — quietly — in the air.

Lovely and all consuming — it’s more than a feeling.

It’s a knowing.

An innocence — that takes me somewhere

and nowhere

yet here.


Pear Shaped Moon

Pear Shaped Moon by Akuokuo Vallis

Not nearly ready to stand at the ready — with brooms and mouse traps — like my mother and twin sister — I hid —  and watched — mostly — from under the couch.

My mother had on her heaviest winter coat — in the middle of summer — and yellow rubber kitchen gloves —  sopping wet.

My twin sister looked spacey — like an alien — with that old wicker basket — covering her head — strategically secured with duct tape.  My duct tape.  That’s my neon blue duct tape!

I could hardly barely speak with those two scarves wrapped around my neck — squeezed so tight — under the couch — in the living room — hands full of garlic — like grenades, I thought.

Mosquitoes here are always bad — snakes are worse — but that hellafied summer — we had bats.  Tons of bats.  Millions of bats.  A house full of bats — it seemed.

Actually —  it was just  three.

And I named them Ding, Ling and Shirley.


Sun Salutations

anotehr mask by Akuokuo Vallis


Used to get boxes of lemons— from Uncle Billy — my father’s older brother— in Arizona.

He had lemon trees — lots of them.

Uncle Billy had lots of ideas too.  Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.  He was a talker.

He called weekly to tell us What’s What.

NO, you DO NOT need to know HOW  I  know.  All you need to know is your whole house is bugged. Outside too.  Street lights and gas meters!  HELLO. Once THAT rain starts falling, forget it.  And DO NOT be fooled by horse milk. Get camel milk.  Gotta get a good freezer, though.  One that  runs on H2O.  Next time, remind me to talk about Mars. And chickens! These plastic chickens.  Man boobs ain’t just from soy.  I can promise you that!  


Almost Nearly Full

almost full mon by Akuokuo Vallis

Super obsessed with Julia Child — I played make believe with a whisk and an empty bowl — watching PBS reruns and  snacking — big time — on Doritos —  after school.

Glimpsing forward — fast into the future —  it seems —  and suddenly there we were — front and center — like two Siamese cats, the instructor said — taking a real French cooking class — complete with bright white aprons and checkered pants.

Flush faced from talking to spoons — way too much tasting and re-tasting — my twin sister was supposed to be making a Grand Marnier Soufflé.   Instead she found the elixir of life.

Who knew cooking could be this fun!

Then she sprinkled imaginary pixie dust — purple and pretty, pretty, pretty —  over her head.


Green Pastures


I knew it.  I could  just tell.   Especially when our dad gave us those whistles — those emergency whistles — from Tiffany.   Still have mine on a keychain — on a hook — on a wall — so I don’t lose it.

Then he had everything in the house repaired — little things — teensy things — things only he would see.  Things — we’d never get fixed.

That outside spigot still drips.  He left that on purpose, I think.

Hoped it would move along faster.  It did.

So selfish — so foolishly selfish — thinking it was all about me — a cotton candy rain cloud — thinking I was twinkling — in the dark.

Maybe I’ve changed.  Not sure, really.

Haven’t yet learned the art of goodbye.


In the Margins

Delicate by Akuokuo Vallis

Dreamt about Aunt Frankie last night. Only— she was thinner— in the dream— in a room with delicate curtains—and the windows were open.

Aunt Frankie—my mother’s sister— was a very, very, very large woman — seems impolite to call her fat.  Obese.

My sisters and I briefly stayed with her—once—only once—one summer.  We were supposed to stay longer — but Aunt Frankie was different.  A crocodile, really.  We weren’t used to different — like that.

She cooked well.  Really well.  But, never sat at the table with us.  Not ever.  Not even for dinner.  She preferred that chair — in the corner — sipping from her jumbo-size plastic glass— of juice — that’s what she called it— juice — watching us and commenting— from afar.

I was skinny once, Aunt Frankie said.  Sounded like a threat.  Maybe it was just a warning.

Made me nervous, though—especially when I stepped on the scale—each night.