A hundred color bits.

What was once a plastic cup becomes one hundred colored bits

and he who wields the scissors with a smile

verge of a laugh – a cackle – sparkling eyes

You’ll stop me, he seems to say,

You’ll be unhappy with this!

My anger

the intense frustration pouring out of my body

the drug on which he is tripping.


Red bits,

shreds of plastic

cover the table, and the boy with scissors  chops

not too quietly

while the speaker speaks

at a church supper.

I say “Not too loud -it has to be quiet -”

and he hears.

And life goes on, somehow

with bits of plastic,

on the banquet table cloth.


Afterward my friend asks, “How did it go with Owen?”

And I say “You tell me”

she says “I didn’t hear him at all”

can it be that everyone understands

the boy with the scissors

and his bits?

Rainy Hour at the Aquarium

Photo by Freya Simons

Toward the end of a very busy Memorial Day Weekend, Owen was getting bored.  Mom and dad were more than a little exhausted.  Not feeling too generous nor too creative.  Very likely, it would have been a long cloudy afternoon of breaking up plastic pots into bits and swatting mosquitoes for him, but Owen got lucky.

His sister Freya offered to take him with her and her boyfriend Keir to the Baltimore Aquarium for the afternoon.  I am still wowed and shaking my head at their generosity.  Perhaps they are, too.

“Mom, if you get a nap, it will all be worth it,” Freya said.  Worth her effort, I guess she meant.

Yup.  It was certainly worth it.  Dad and mom got naps.  And then, undeterred by rain that descended the very moment we headed out into the yard, we had a carefree hour planting herbs and vegetables, and got soaking wet in the downpour like goof balls.  Two and half  precious hours of unscheduled freedom later we were dry and dressed and driving up to Baltimore under grey skies to meet for supper and to liberate our benefactors.

Meanwhile Owen had been keeping busy.

The line to the aquarium was very long – plenty of other folks had the same idea for entertainment on a rainy afternoon of a holiday weekend.  But Owen doesn’t do standing still in line.  So to distract him Freya and Keir took him through the tents and market stalls and displays of the adjacent Middle Eastern Bazaar.  Very fast.  Lots of noises, sounds, images, and no cues for Owen as to why he was there or what he was supposed to do there.  As I understand it, Owen got busier.

They got back in line at the appointed time to learn that the tickets were $40 each!! (Owen treated).  In the end Owen, Freya, and Keir had only one hour to look at the fish before closing.  But I understand that Owen made efficient use of their time.  In an hour, they had enough time to see “everything” Freya said — except the dolphin show.

But they did see dolphins.  Freya said this was the one time on their outing when Owen calmed down. The cherubic photo she captured above may chronicle the most peaceful moments Owen spent all day.  In the dolphin tank.  Looking for Chaos, perhaps?

An expensive hour, but a precious afternoon.  By any measure.

We got them a good supper.

Keeping up with Owen – Baltimore Aquarium – photo by Freya Simons