Jungle of Joy
She talks incessantly of the jungle of joy that
awaits us, if only we’d leave this closet, this room,
this house with its four walls, and just step
outside, where the wind sings and the birds
dance and the trees celebrate the sunshine.
“Let’s play!” she hums. The dandelions are fading,
calling us to spread their spores with our breath.
The clover is begging us to sit in the grass, and chain
together a crown to bless our precious heads.
There are daisies in the garden with our names,
ready to tell our fortunes of love.
“Let’s play!” she croons. The sidewalk has opened like
velvety red carpet, dreaming of our footsteps
skipping along its surface. The basketball court
has opened her stage for our coordinated circles,
our synchronous swirls as we roller skate our favorite
dance. Even June is calling us over to jump
rope, hop to the top, move like a mop, don’t stop!
She can see herself spreading like a bird’s wings,
her ruffles spinning around my legs, floating up toward
the sky we jump and gyrate, and drifting back down
like a bellyflop in the pool.
The cotton dress – the one with a parade of colors –
who has hung quietly on the rack all winter, dreaming
of reclining against my body, she now invites me, filled
with hope, that we’ll go out