Rock, Paper, Scissors

Issue 4 | Summer 2020 |

My twelve-year-old marches
in from the backyard, holds
a fist-sized rock with a tiny,
telltale, red-paint smudge.

How could you? she asks.

I’d scrubbed away its prior life
as a kindergarten paperweight
in a Marie Kondo-purge-the-clutter moment,
and placed it with a rocky family
in a shaded corner of the garden.

But when the scarlet pigment
swirled in the sink,
I’d felt a weight in my chest,
like the time I said her oblong snowflakes
wouldn’t fit our window mullions,
and after I demonstrated how to fold
and cut perfection from a paper square,

saw my failure cover her face.