Maybe if I hadn’t been so busy stirring the sauce I would have realized what else was stirring, would have turned around sooner and noticed that my three-year-old was no longer drawing at the table but had moved on to scrawling something much more ambitious along the walls.
I threatened her with a timeout and she dropped those markers onto the floor and promised to never ever never do it again. But she is drawn to impulse these days and as soon as I returned to playing chef, she returned to her chef-d’oeuvre.
I raised my wooden spoon and started to count to three, and it was as though I’d challenged her to a duel – ten paces away, marker tucked into her hip, she met my gaze with a squint – both of us locked into this ongoing battle of wills and will nots, waiting to see who draws first.
Ben Berman’s first collection of poems, Strange Borderlands, won the 2014 Peace Corps Writers Award for Best Book of Poetry and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award. His second collection, Figuring in the Figure, is forthcoming from Able Muse Press. In addition, he has received honors and Fellowships from the New England Poetry Club, Massachusetts Cultural Council and Somerville Arts Council.