A young mom stands.
The four-year-old boy at her feet
sits in his unseen labels:
She holds one end of a leash.
The other is attached to a cute backpack
he wears, as he fidgets in a small spot of dirt
in an otherwise flawless lawn of the public library that is,
today, being used as a venue for celebrating diversity.
The morning is perfection.
People of different cultures and languages together,
sharing their talents and being offered a public voice.
This mom does not move from her spot
The darling boy pays no attention to the speakers
His focus is only on his patch of dirt.
He sits in it. Lays in it. Plays in it
with his hands and feet.
Feels it with his cheeks.
He pulls a bit of the grass around it,
increasing his speck of space.
A woman with a long dress gets close.
He reaches out to touch the fabric. It is the only thing
I see him pay attention to, besides the small patch
that grounds him.
His momma tells him
don’t touch the dress.
When I am leaving, I approach her.
“A sort of sandbox, I see,” I say.
She tells me nothing soothes him quite like
a patch of cool dirt.
She tells me his labels.
I place my hand on her shoulder briefly,
and assure her she is a strong, good momma.
She says the only other woman
to approach her this day sternly told her,
“I pay taxes for this grass.”
© Marie Elena Good, 2022