Puffed Rice

Weekday morning breakfasts for you consisted only of freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee. Somehow you made it through the day until dinner. The word around the office was that you worked through lunch. It was a concern, dental assistants hovered around me on my visits and asked if I could “talk your father into eating some lunch.” I knew it was a fruitless effort; “Feh” was all you said.

Weekend mornings, those were delicious – and strange. I know now why I dip cold chicken into Mayonnaise or crumble up my chips so small to get the most of of my dip experience. You liked what you liked, end of story.

This one particular savory morning is at the top of my list of favorites. I woke up to a smell as if I had a sleepover in a movie theater. My skin and hair smelled of buttery popcorn and my salivary glands basically pulled my body out of bed and dragged me to the kitchen.

“What are you making?”

“You’ll see” (the response that took up 90% of my childhood inquiries)

“Jess, come on”

So I sat at the table and looked out at my favorite place in the whole wide world, my backyard; and when I looked down I saw a bowl of golden, a bit browned, tiny oblong balls. Honestly they looked like teeny, tiny footballs, as if made for the tiniest miniature person ever alive. It smelled like absolute, pure magic. I still looked at my dad to see if he was serious though he did not look at me. He sat down and began eating.

I knew the drill – no kvetching, no whining, just eat it.

Toasted, buttery, perfection melted in my mouth! Like breakfast pop-rocks I was born again into breakfast beauty…

At some point I looked up and just saw him nodding and smirking at me as if it was his plan all along to shock my taste buds into complete allegiance.

I loved your puffed rice. And this was only one small tiny adventure in your pocket of a giant.

Mother’s Day

Mom and babyExercise

The devil of the

open day

to sweat or not to sweat

that was never the question,

though it was today –


Each foot

slamming the sidewalk

each leg

a lead weight

heavier than the next


For them –

my three

earnest little beasts –

I can not dissolve underground


You had to go

but I am here

to take care of them

and love them


and laugh at the ridiculous



they say.