Make it Better

Yesterday’s rain leaves the grass still moist
but we brought a blanket
and, as there’s little else to do
on this unstormy day,
we lay on the lawn,
debating clouds.

I lift him with my legs,
and he flies,
balancing, giggling.
We both nap for a bit
then go looking for more adventures.
“You sure you don’t need a bathroom?”
I ask.
He says he’s fine.

I am unfamiliar with the park
so we wander
and soon find ourselves
He reaches for my hand
and doesn’t break contact
when I show him signs
that prove we’re not really lost.

He begins to tire
So we wend our way
back to his mother’s place.
As we walk
my stomach acts like it sometimes does:
gurgling, pulsing,
expressing angry discontent.
My intestines have been happier with me.

“You need a bathroom now?”
He shakes his head.
“You know where one is?”
He’s got nothing for me.
I pick up the pace
to his house
but I doubt we’re gonna make it
and there’s no toilet in sight.
The day’s long;
he’s getting antsy
and so am I.

It reaches the point
where something has to be done
and I search for some secluded spot.
“You stay here,” I point,
and go to the other side of a 200-year tree
to take care of business.
Dropping pants,
I hope the boy isn’t kidnapped
in the three minutes he’s left unsupervised.
My bowels void.
When I circle the tree
the boy’s still there.

“Are we there yet?”
He asks,
as we head home.
“Sure,” I say, “soon.”
There is a teachable moment
in all of this,
I hope.

About Jonathan Berger

I used to write quite a bit more.
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