Skip to Content
The Christian Century
Thinking Critically. Living Faithfully.
Search this site:
Life of Faith
Subscribe (Print & Online) [user/subscribe]
You are logged out.
Sep 19, 2006
In autumn I wrestle the plastic water slide
to the ground, my legs like bellows riding the sides,
then pinch the thick airholes into slits
to hear the sizzle of release. A slight wind lifts
my husband’s early summer breath
into September air. It is as if
the lung of summer in the body of the world
is collapsing. I grip the plastic and furl
the bottom toward the top, trapping air
too slow to exit. Geese above me flare
and part; a thatch of brown grass below
dies. Those who claim their losses know
the exquisite pain of letting go. I drag
the slide into the cellar, where it will sag
in a dank corner until June, when once again
small bodies will skim down its inflated spine
beyond our reach.
we pant, then slacken our jaws, unclench our teeth.