Sometimes when the mother hugs the toddler and kisses her, the toddler returns the mother's affection by biting. The mother hesitates, wondering if she should bite the toddler back. Most mothers smother the thought. Teeth are natural weapons for all young mammals, so the toddler's first instinct is to use them when threatened or in need. If the mother's hug or kiss is too aggressive, the toddler bites. And biting must be stopped. But you won't stop the behavior by stooping to your toddler's level. Aggressive acts cease when the mother breaks the pattern by having the toddler's teeth removed.
Three Quarter Time
I watched a woman, hair once the color of coal, shape bagels at the corner deli; day after day the window revealed her long fingers looping dough around her hand and rolling it on the counter, white marble, until a round tube twirled in on itself and she dropped the circle into a pan of steaming water and the dough rose swollen and wet; through her I saw faintly a girl in dark braids sitting at a Wurlitzer turning pages faster and faster until the paper floated up in flakes, my hands holding to the treble clef, swinging above brick and tile through altostratus clouds, a red disc dimly visible.
Chopped Salad for One
Although appearing to be a simple dish, chopped salad often is constructed poorly. It is difficult to do well. It demands time, dedication and the freshest of ingredients. In preparing salads a good chef's knife is a safe choice.
First, wash and dry your lettuce, preferably romaine or little gem, but any firm greens will suffice. Put the lettuce back in the refrigerator to crisp. Next, take twelve cherry or grape tomatoes, slice them in half, place them in a bowl, add a pinch of salt, and stir. This will cause the juices to flow. Third, finely slice six baby carrots. Cut one stalk of celery into long quarters, and dice them the size of small fingernails. Take six green onions, cut off the tips and chop the white part. Add to the mix. A red pepper can be included. Pour two teaspoons of vinaigrette over the chopped vegetables and blend. Sprinkle ground black pepper to taste. Now, remove the greens from the refrigerator. Cut into pieces roughly the size of half your index finger. Using one teaspoon of vinaigrette, dress the greens. Then combine with the chopped vegetables. Enjoy.
Variation with Protein: Wash your hands long enough to sing "Mary Had a Little Lamb." With a clean paper towel dry them thoroughly. Also wash and clean your knife. Choosing the least used finger on your non dominant hand, extend the digit on the chopping block, curl the others into the palm, and
teaches writing at Santa Barbara City College and lives with a writer, three cats, and a stand of pink flamingos. Her most recent chapbook, Talking Did Not Come Easily to Diana
, is an e-book of linked microfiction (Musa Publishing