A mother's tenderness begins here when the girl holds baby sister. She sifts her from shoulder to shoulder until cries lull into stares and blinks. They watch each other. The older counts baby toes and fingers, presses her lips to soft cheeks, and whispers into the tiny ears. It's a serenade. Before long baby falls asleep nestled into sister's warm neck.
31. Ten baby toes, lint in the cracks.
32. Weight in my elbow of a nursed full baby.
33. Rows of bean sprouts in wet dirt.
34. Black coffee, just ground.
35. Sunglasses, blue and yellow polka-dot, forgotten in the grass.
36. Sister love that whispers baby to sleep.
37. Brother love that sings Zacheaus Was a Wee Little Man in full soprano at each nap.
38. Husband hands that sort the kitchen junk drawer into piles that captivate our children.
39. Husband's clean shave.
40. Cookies stacked on wire racks, crisp out of the oven.
41. Salty Greek olives.
42. A little girl who still calls herself OLIVE.
43. Cucumbers and peppers, tomatoes, olives fresh chopped.
45. My brother home from Africa, fresh and new and yet all the same, sea blue eyes and red beard.
46. Refreshment that flows from my parents to us, a river of friendship.
47. A husband quick to humor and slow to anger.
48. Tall glasses of water, small cups of coffee, black chocolate.
51. Jelly smudges on the walls.