a toddler creates thunder by dancing on a manhole
At first, she cannot account for the noise. With each jerked step, a thunderclap. Her metal dance floor echoes her jive. Her pumps, no bigger than mini croissants, each create a cymbal crash, the earth responds to her slightest step. What dark sorcery is this? What topsy-turvy witchcraft? She pauses to evaluate. A scientific test. She retreats to the grass, jumps. No thunder. She steps back on the manhole. Thunder. She sees her powers are site-specific, unique to this one patch. She returns to her sacred sphere, a pint-sized Jedi embracing the force. I watch it happen in her face. From this beer-garden bench, book propped, ornamental, in my hands, I see her eyes spin like stop-signs, red to green. Now she cannot be silenced. Prospero in rainbow leggings. Storm Lord. She gambols fitfully on her audible stage. (Toddlers always dance like marionettes, their brains still learning the strings.) She bellows with god-like glee. The men behind are quaffing hipster ales. ‘I don’t want to feel shit in terms of… there’s never a good way to end it… Daisy… I mean… she’s fine.’ I turn my phone facedown on the table. But what’s this? A swerve in the plot? A second child – same face, same rainbow leggings – approaches the rim of the arena. A sidelined gladiator. This is mythological: siblings duelling for the Tempest Touch.
Barnes & Noble
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