In the field beside our half house, I was chief engineer and steward. I trampled paths from our backyard to the neighbours’. Long grasses I knew by scent, the one that smelled like cereal, and the bunchy one with wide, flat blades that reeked of swamp. I could have mapped the anthills, the holes used by mice or snakes, the patches of clover. Occasionally a candy wrapper or waxy coffee cup would pollute the field’s south side, abutting a busy road. Maintenance, me, would clean these up.
In winter my brother and sister and I built edifices of ice in the field, sanctuaries featuring three-cushioned snow couches, and iceboxes full of tasty ice pizzas.
Retrace splay of veins on maple leaf. Understand dandelions, in all their vicissitudes, from cinched green button-buds through yellow glory, ten thousand miniature suns, staining fingers and cheeks. Milk inside hollow stalks. White parasols, freed with puff of breath, defying gravity.