s u s a n    m o o r h e a d



Peeling off the hard mottled skin of mango, gold and scarlet, torn from the plush inner fruit that wraps around a large hard pit and juice runs down my fingers to my wrist, streaks my forearm, a sticky golden river. I look through the fine mesh of screen at the spread of light in the front yard, on the slate walk, at the garden flowers freed from the polite orderly confines of spring, sprawling on the neighboring flowers with that abandon that August gives the yard. Summer afternoon light is more magical than the common silvering of dusk, it feels calm as it focuses on each thing it touches with such golden assurance, street, curb, grass, root, flower. I am trying to find words to describe how it enters this part of day, crept, angled, blazed, spread, and they are all wrong. The light is in the yard as another presence, overlooked until noticed and then it touches some wisdom too easily forgotten, like trees, the way one is just shade, a big plant, and then you stand before it noticing some insect on the bark, and think about bark and how it is the tree's skin and you tilt your head far back and see how the branches converse with sky and suddenly you are so very less than tree. The juice is sticky on the grip of the knife and my fingers as I cut up an orange and now cherries, paring the ruby blushing flesh from the pit, how I picked my son up at camp and he was swallowing his heart, his face flushed with embarrassment after an outburst, and I told him to not fear emotions, the hot of anger, the tall fence of frustration, the largeness of sorrow, but to let them have their moment and their space and take calming breaths as you let yourself feel, but not to get eaten by these things. I didn't say how sorrow needs so much more room than a person can sometimes afford, taking up more space than a tree's branches, the sky, more space than I can hold, and I slice the half cantaloupe into slices and then squares, adding them to the bowl as sorrow, my constant, fills the room like light.



SUSAN MOORHEAD's work appears in a variety of publications including The Comstock Review, Bayou, Anderbo.com, Earth's Daughters, Mothering, Goblin Fruit, including a Pushcart Prize nominated essay in Brain, Child. She is a self described "writer, librarian, insomniac" on her blog, http://sunpoursdownlikehoney.blogspot.com.

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