My piano is dusty.

And on it is fake Monet with grass in a quiet blue blaze and my unused keys, a set only worthy of a janitor’s belt. The dust just means that I choose better things: watching Titus’ head become a little less bobbly. The keys mean that I collect things, that I tend to hoard.

There’s a brass one there that doesn’t fit in any lock. It says “GM FD” – George Mouk, Front Door. That’s to a door to the bayou home sold out of the family after our Patriarch crossed the veil.

Out of the vibrant blue, my 3 year old walks between me and my computer. “Granddad’s not sick any more,” he says. He’s thinking, nonchalant, factual.

I stroke his hair, kiss his dirty face.

Get up and stir the beans. Tell the boys to wash their hands again. Wonder, where is Poland.

Life is not all heat, all dirty talk and bang bang. It’s mostly quiet. Sense the flickering – look at it – how we’re just here glowing a tiny while – blue, yellow, red – before going out,

how if we’re doing well, we’re a torch passed down.

It’s in my hands right now. Glow of licking flame, a wooden spoon, some keys.

So I stroke the hair. I watch them grow into their heads. I slick them back.

I Write.

About me


What’s Up: New Year and a New Plan
January 13, 2017
An Uncooked Story
January 10, 2016
What I Knew In My Dying Day: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post by Tara Owens
August 19, 2015
Celebrating Wild in the Hollow
August 04, 2015
Condemnation on the Molehill
June 08, 2015
Tools for the Highly Sensitive Mother: An Introduction
April 27, 2015
The Uncouth: The Hormonal
May 12, 2014
What Mothers Me
April 01, 2014
Do it.
January 21, 2014


Reply September 20, 2011

I think, Amber, that you should make jewelry with your unused keys. You know, with all your extra time and all.

    Reply September 22, 2011

    Ha! Yeah, I'll put that on the list of creative things I'd like to be creative enough to do.

Reply September 20, 2011

I choose better things too. Soul-feeding things, laughing through crazy tired, giving a day to a hurting friend. Dust doesn't mock me so much when I think of it like that.

I love this idea of a torch passed down, of the light we can share, the way it glints off old keys and the things we collect, the things that surround us in the busy and the quiet times. The idea of a wooden spoon as a legacy. Such beautiful imagery. <3

p.s. I'm going to Poland in a couple of weeks. It's...um...near Russia?

    Reply September 22, 2011

    Sharone, I just like you. And Poland? What for?

Reply September 20, 2011

Your writing always leaves me smiling, but with little to say.
I think that's a good thing :)

Reply September 20, 2011

This. Is. So. Good.
Says the lady with the lump in her throat. That torch handed down bit just got me, got me good.

Reply September 20, 2011

I second Jo. The torch got me.

Excellent writing, feeling, living...

Reply September 21, 2011

Song for a Fifth Child

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Love this poem!

    Reply September 22, 2011

    I do too! Thank you for this.

Reply September 21, 2011

For whatever reason, I'm glad you kept all of those keys.

    Reply September 22, 2011

    I keep a lot of things. :) But I'm getting better about it.

Reply September 21, 2011

Love this Amber. Just had to say that. I made beans for my sons last night too. God in all.

Reply September 21, 2011

stay on fire Amber. Wild and crazy on fire.
I'm stitching the last of the binding on a lap quilt for my mother as she is just this side of the veil, the small but oh very there cross I patched in ,the torch she passed on, and I don't know if she knows in her mind all gone mixed up state. I keep telling her but I don't know. Make sure your babies do. That you do.


    Reply September 22, 2011

    Deb, you always make me weepy for some reason. I think we'd be such good real lifers together.

Reply September 21, 2011

One of the things that I love most about my wife is that she also chooses better things. Thanks for the perspective Amber!

    Reply September 22, 2011

    Scottie, I do love your wife. Her sis is in bsf with me, by the way. I'm so glad, too.

Reply September 23, 2011

You sure make words pretty.

Reply January 1, 2021

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