We are playing a game of hide-and-seek according to her rules, which means that if she can’t find me in approximately twenty-five seconds, she begins calling “Yoo-hoooo,” expecting me to echo.
She sends me out of a room to count while she stays in to hide. I have to pretend I can’t see her sock-toes at the crack of the closet door. She hides in the same place twice.
On her way to find me (I am sandwiched sideways between the bedroom dresser and the bookcase), she stops to retrieve my old hat which is lying on the trunk at the foot of the bed for a bit of vintage-y atmosphere. She plops it on her head. “Yoo-hoooo!” she calls.
“Yoo-hoooo,” I answer.
She whirls around. “There you are!” she shouts, hopping with glee. Then she regains her composure, asserts her authority: “Now, whoever is LOOKING has to wear this hat.”
“Okay, but first let me take your picture wearing it. You are SO elegant.”
“No.” She bows her head, hiding her beautiful face.
“Oh, please? It would be the best picture.”
She has to tease me a bit, evading the camera. She’s calling the shots. She flops around the edge of the bed, giggling.
Finally she stands and lets me get my shot.
Quick look. Can’t help myself: I crack up. “Ummm…how about I get one more? An even better one?”
“Let me see,” says the little grande dame.
I show her the photo on my phone.
“Nope,” she declares, “it’s a keeper! Now you count and I hide—your turn to wear the hat!” She flings it in my direction and scurries away.
I don my old hat and count…every precious, precocious minute, for the hidden elegance thereunto.
—Is she five or fifteen?
An etheree, for my “elegant” granddaughter:
your own way
in your own play
—let me now preserve
your essence for lighting
the remainder of my days,
hoarding every fleeting moment
in the reliquary of my soul
where dust cannot corrupt the elegance.
The annual Slice of Life Story Challenge with Two Writing Teachers is underway, meaning that I am posting every day in the month of March. This marks my fifth consecutive year and I’m experimenting with an abecedarian approach: On Day 5, I am writing around a word beginning with letter e. Another favorite e-word in this piece: echo. And an etheree seemed to be called for.
Also shared with the Poetry Friday gathering today – thanks to Kathryn for hosting the Roundup.