Our, Angel Gabriel
It was an unseasonably warm winter afternoon when Angel Gabriel came to visit. I was baking bread for his great-grandparents who sat thin-jacketed watching him lead my angel sister toward the enormous long-needled Austrian pine – she carried a five-gallon bucket that could have carried him – where he hunted his favorite treasure: pine cones. Each cone he found yielded a toddler’s triumphant incomprehensible Hurrah! and got plunked into the bucket. And what was she supposed to do when the girl at the front door pronounced, Take him now or he goes to foster care. She took him, of course, and Grandma became Mom, new mother to Angel Gabriel. Plunk. Plunk. Plunk. He showed me so proudly his catch. And he jumped off a boulder and sat back and gashed his head and wailed and screamed as his blood soaked a white dish towel and he bragged the next day about the staple in his head then took Mom out to find more pine cones. They stood on the sturdiest welded-rebar window-well grate ever fabricated when it pivoted and tipped and disappeared into the profound well and Mom became Spider Mom with a hand and sneakered feet planted stickily to the house and well walls, and the other hand dangled Angel Gabriel in the air, in the well, and we bolted and grabbed arms and hoisted and praised her superpowers and laughed to avoid visions of alternate endings to that little story. Angel Gabriel suspended in the air by Fairy Mother benevolence. And a month later he advised me sagaciously with a bucket filled with pine cones, I don’t like holes – don’t go over there. He’s going to have a good life because Mom will be the best mother and because we all love the little guy and will watch over him and babysit and play and feed and clothe and praise and follow him around with a bucket and listen to his angelic toddler prattle, and watch him grow. He is our very own Angel Gabriel, but sometimes he is Angel, and other times Gabriel, and usually just Gabe.
Roger is a municipal attorney, homebody poet and essayist, and amateur naturalist. Roger is the author of Rabbit Lane: Memoir of a Country Road and A Time and A Season. Rabbit Lane tells the true life story of an obscure farm road and its power to transform the human spirit. A Time and A Season gathers Roger’s poems from 2015-2020, together with the stories of their births. The books are available in print and for Kindle at Amazon. See Rabbit Lane reviewed in Words and Pictures.